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  PhD Researcher: Wool as a Novel Material in the Restoration of Severely Degraded Peatlands


   Graduate School

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  Dr S Carr, Dr Angus Carpenter, Prof Jane Barker  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Peatlands are globally-significant carbon stores, key to mitigating impacts of anthropogenic GHG emissions. Many peatlands are in poor or degraded condition, mainly as a function of past and recent land management. These peatlands are currently a source, rather than sink for carbon. The most degraded bare peat surfaces are exceptionally hostile for restoration and contribute disproportionately to carbon loss to the atmosphere. This project will evaluate the potential of sheep wool/fleece in stabilising and accelerating the restoration and recovery of bare peatland surfaces and edges.

The project will employ field experimental trials on upland blanket and lowland peatlands located in Cumbria to test different treatments of wool in restoration of bare peat surfaces and edges, and the environmental and ecological implications of using wool in different forms to ecology, hydrology and water quality and peatland structure and function. The project will make use of a wide range of environmental methods (ecology, hydrology, sedimentology, environmental chemistry, 3D computed X-Ray tomography) with the project team providing support and training in all of these areas. Additionally, the project will engage with local interests to undertake the research whilst being sensitive to complex, intertwining issues of land ownership and management and cultural practices within peatlands.

This project is distinctive in partnering research, practitioner and policy-making organisations to examine a subject with genuine significance for peatland environments, land use and management and rural economies. Candidates are sought with an undergraduate- or masters-level degree in Geography, Environmental Science, Ecology or similar subject areas, or equivalent.

If you would like more information on this project, please contact Dr Simon Carr ([Email Address Removed]) for more details.

How to Apply:

Applications are submitted online through the University of Cumbria's PhD Programme webpage: PhD Doctor of Philosophy - University of Cumbria Please click on the 'Apply Now' button near the top of the page to go to the applicant portal.

When applying, please submit:

  • PhD Research Proposal
  • Degree certificates and transcripts
  • Details for two references, at least one must be academic from most recent degree.

Supervision Team:

  • Dr Simon Carr, Dr Angus Carpenter, Professor Jane Barker: Institute of Science & Environment, University of Cumbria;
  • Partners: Mary Berry (Environment Agency), Pin Dhillon-Downey (Natural England), Stephen Trotter (Cumbria Wildlife Trust)

Deadline for Applications: Midnight Sunday 10th March 2024

Interviews: Online during the week 18th March 2024

Project Start Date: 8th April 2024 (start can be remote or on-site)

Agriculture (1) Environmental Sciences (13) Geography (17) Geology (18)

Funding Notes

PhD studentship is full-time for 3 years.
Funded for 3 years - stipend equivalent to UKRI PhD studentship rates of £18,622 - through a partnership between Westmorland & Furness Council, University of Cumbria, Environment Agency, Natural England and Cumbria Wildlife Trust.