Climatic changes have been particularly pronounced across Arctic coastlines, reducing the sea-ice season and intensifying storm activity. Analyses of the Western Canadian Arctic coastline have revealed substantial increases (up to 200%) in coastal erosion over the last two decades, following a sustained period of relatively consistent retreat since aerial surveys in the 1950s. Accelerated rates of retreat threaten coastal communities, food security and critical infrastructure. The limited studies of permafrost coast erosion have typically been either localised and failure type specific or broad one- to two-dimensional retreat maps at time intervals of annual change at best. We lack understanding of the wide scale volumetric responses and environmental sensitivities of Arctic permafrost coasts and the implications resulting from continued climatic changes.
This PhD research will address critical, longstanding questions over the wide scale sensitivities and impacts of permafrost coast erosion, working closely (including a secondment in Nova Scotia) with leading researchers from the CASE partner Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). The research will benefit from exposure to innovative new approaches for wide scale volumetric monitoring and temperature mapping, geochemical signature analyses linking material sources to sinks and novel modelling approaches to upscale and predict western Arctic permafrost coast change. The depth and reach of the research will be enhanced through access to NRCan’s extensive logistical support, helicopter and boat access, drone surveys, repositories of samples and historic datasets, which will be reanalysed to form a complete picture of long-term trends. Working with NRCan will ensure wider project support, relevance and application through direct co-production and transfer of knowledge to local communities.
The project would suit a student with a background in fields such as Geosciences, Geomorphology, Engineering or Physical Geography. Experience of remote sensing, geomatics, geochemistry or modelling is desirable. For more information, please contact Mike Lim ([email protected]
Eligibility and How to Apply:
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.
Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. OP.....) will not be considered.
Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.
We have a minimum of 12 (3.5 year) PhD fully funded studentship awards available for October 2020 entry. Each award includes fees (Home / EU), an annual living allowance (for 2019/20 this is £15,009) and a Research Training Support Grant (for travel, consumables, as required).