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Past intermediate and deep ocean circulation during sustained periods of warmth

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, March 18, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Queen Mary University of London is announcing an exciting opportunity for an allocated four-year PhD position in either the Earth Surface Science group in the School of Geography or the Evolution and Development group in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences. The successful candidate will start their project in September 2019 and will participate in training and cohort activities of the London NERC DTP.

The London NERC Doctoral Training Partnership brings together eight of the world’s leading research centres in environmental science. Our partnership provides innovative doctoral training in a multidisciplinary research environment and fosters links between centres of research excellence, spanning NERC’s environmental science remit.

About the Project

The ocean is absorbing much of the heat and carbon dioxide emissions related to human caused climate change, but the long-term impacts on heat transport, carbon cycling and deep ocean circulation are poorly understood. Looking at past warm periods such as the Last Interglacial (125,000 years ago) and other “Super-Interglacials” where global temperatures are estimated to be 0.5 to 1.5°C warmer than today may provide insight into how the ocean accommodates heat and carbon. This project will use a suite of locations in the Atlantic and/or Pacific to characterize and map intermediate and deep water masses and ocean circulation.

This project necessitates a multi-proxy approach including stable isotopes (d13C, d18O), minor (Mg/Ca, temperature) and trace elements (B/Ca, [CO32-]) and trace isotopes (ENd). The project can be tailored to focus on regional (e.g. North Atlantic, Southern Ocean) or basin-wide reconstructions of ocean circulation depending on the research interests of the student.

Policy Impact of Research

As the ocean is a large part of the climate system, being able to constrain the ocean’s long-term response to future climate change on a variety of time scales has significant economic and societal impacts.

For further information about the project, please contact Dr Heather Ford.


Please note: NERC funding is subject to candidates meeting RCUK eligibility criteria and we encourage eligible students from the EU to apply. For details of eligibility please click here:

How to apply

Applicants should include a supporting statement, CV, transcripts and certificates, details of two referees, and indicate the relevant supervisor and project title in the application form. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview in March 2019.

To apply for a studentship being advertised by the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences (SBCS) please click here:

To apply for a studentship being advertised by the School of Geography please click here:

Deadline for applicants: Monday 18 March 2019

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