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ONEPlanet DTP - How did permafrost thaw affect regional climate and environment in continental Siberia? (OP2155)

Faculty of Engineering and Environment

Monday, January 18, 2021 Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Although permafrost is a key tipping element of our global climate, its past dynamics remain a mystery. Key questions are:
- Can you reconstruct where and how fast permafrost in Central Siberia will thaw under different warming scenarios? And what are the repercussions for moisture transport and Siberian ecosystems?
- Can you use speleothems from Botovskaya cave to reconstruct temperature changes?
Can you link speleothem proxies with local to global climate conditions?
To answer the research questions above you will conduct fieldwork into Botovskaya Cave, Siberia, and recover new samples for dating and palaeoclimate reconstructions. This cave is very sensitive to permafrost dynamics over >1.5 Ma. Your study focusses on the regional responses to global climatic changes during interglacial periods of the last ~420,000 years. Your work will be embedded in an international team with some of the best experts in speleothem research. You have access to our large sample collection for comparing important warm periods and will conduct fieldwork to Siberia to fill gaps in the database. You will be trained in state-of-the-art methods in world-leading laboratories, including U-series dating, climate monitoring, stable isotope and trace element geochemistry, and organic chemistry. You will date your samples at the University of Oxford, perform innovative organic chemistry with experts at Berne University, and run isotope and element analyses here at Northumbria. Monitoring data is available for nearly a decade, and you will work with our partners at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Irkutsk to extend the monitoring effort. You always have the opportunity to discuss sampling, analyses and interpretations with the project team. This project will enhance your scientific skills during field- and lab work, and extend your research network at internal meetings, summer schools and workshops, and international conferences (e.g. EGU or Goldschmidt). Your results will be published in high-ranked international journals.

Funding Notes

Each of our studentship awards include 3.5 years of fees (Home/EU), an annual living allowance (£15,285) and a Research Training Support Grant (for travel, consumables, as required).

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