The Red Sea is a semi-enclosed basin, with limited connections to the open ocean, with narrow and shallow straits operating a strong control on exchanges between the Red Sea and the wider ocean. Currently the Red Sea is dominated by evaporation, leading to saline conditions, with dense saline waters descending into the deep water and keeping the deeper waters oxygenated. However, the Red Sea has experienced changes in sea level, atmospheric forcing (winds, precipitation), insolation, and tectonic changes in basin configuration and sill geometry, leading to different circulation patterns.
Evidence of past climates can be obtained from drill cores, showing, for example, periods of organic-rich layer formation, indicating the deep waters were relatively stagnant and de-oxygenated for periods in the past, as well as giving information about past salinities and temperatures. This in turn will have resulted from different forcing and/or topography. The interpretation of the geological record requires an understanding of the relation between the record and the basin conditions.
You will work in an interdisciplinary team, including paleoceanographers from Earth & Environmental Sciences, who investigate and interpret the geological record, and fluid dynamicists from the Department of Fluids and Environment, expert in numerical and mathematical modelling of ocean flows and processes. The project will focus on developing mathematical models capturing the key physical and biogeochemical processes in the past, present and future Red Sea, in order to identify the key parameters that control the observed geological record. The modelling will include mathematical models of multi-layer hydraulic control at straits, simple box models representing fluxes of heat and salt; models representing geochemical processes that lead to sedimentation and deoxygenation; and numerical models of wind-driven circulation and eddy formation. Combining the improved representation of oceanic processes with information from the geological record will enable us to improve our understanding of past and future climates and impacts.
The successful candidate will have a good degree in mathematics, physics, engineering, environmental sciences, or similar, with good understanding of fluid mechanics and mathematical models of physical systems.
The project is suited to someone with strong mathematical and modelling skills, interested in developing their understanding of oceanographic flows and biogeochemical processes.
We are pleased to offer a full 3.5 year studentship in support of this PhD that will pay Home tuition fees and provide a tax-free stipend at the standard UKRI rate (£18,622 in 2023/24) to cover living costs. European nationals who hold settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement and are eligible for Home fee status are very welcome to apply.
This project is also eligible for the Osborne Reynolds top-up Scholarship which provides an additional £1500 per year top-up to stipend for outstanding candidates. Successful applicants will be automatically considered for this top-up.
Funding for none UK applicants
The funding is open to overseas applicants if they are able to source additional funding for tuition fees. Please see Funding opportunities for postgraduate research at The University of Manchester. You may be eligible for the Dean’s Doctoral Scholarship but you will need your supervisor to nominate you for this award.
Before you apply
We strongly recommend that you contact the supervisor(s) for this project before you apply.
How to apply
To be considered for this project you’ll need to complete a formal application through our online application portal.
When applying, you’ll need to specify the full name of this project, the name of your supervisor, how you’re planning on funding your research, details of your previous study, and names and contact details of two referees.
Your application will not be processed without all of the required documents submitted at the time of application, and we cannot accept responsibility for late or missed deadlines. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
If you have any questions about making an application, please contact our admissions team by emailing FSE.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The closing date for application is April 28, 2024, but the interviews will be performed continuously until the closing date. The advert will close once the position has been filled. The duration of the PhD program is 3.5 years.
Equality, diversity and inclusion
Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact.
We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status.
We also support applications from those returning from a career break or other roles. We consider offering flexible study arrangements (including part-time: 50%, 60% or 80%, depending on the project/funder).