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Quantifying the hidden biodiversity, conservation value and effectiveness of fine sediment detention ponds in agri-environment schemes


   School of Social Sciences and Humanities

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  Dr Kate Mathers, Dr P Wood  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Loughborough United Kingdom Agricultural Sciences Ecology Environmental Chemistry Environmental Geography Hydrology

About the Project

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Find out more: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/supporting-you/research/

Project Detail

 Excessive fine sediment (<2mm) is one of the principal reasons for the failure of waterbodies to achieve good ecological status under the EU Water Framework Directive with widely acknowledged ecological effects for the entire trophic food web. One means of tackling riverine fine sediment whilst also enhancing biodiversity is the installation of sediment traps and buffer ponds. Despite their wide occurrence in agri-environment schemes, little is known about the contribution of sediment mitigation methods to landscape biodiversity or their efficacy for reducing fine sediment pollution for riverine health. Some research has suggested that small water bodies including artificial lentic waterbodies may support high numbers of aquatic organisms in addition to those with high conservation value.

 This project will work with leading stakeholders and project partners engaged in agricultural management and monitoring to provide essential information that will feed directly into policy and real-world environmental management. The project will seek to: i) quantify the current uptake and distribution of the various aquatic-based sediment mitigation methods; ii) quantify the biodiversity and conservation value of sediment retention ponds; and iii) assess the effectiveness of sediment retention methods in mitigating fine sediment pressures for riverine systems.

Find out more

For further information on this project, please see the main CENTA website (http://www.centa.ac.uk/) or contact Dr Kate Mathers ([Email Address Removed]) or Prof. Paul Wood ([Email Address Removed]).

 Entry requirements

Applicants will normally need to hold, or expect to gain, at least a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in Geography, Biology, Earth Science or Environmental Science, or an appropriate Master’s degree.

How to apply

 To apply:

  1. Complete a CENTA studentship application form in Word format (available from http://www.centa.ac.uk/apply/ or here).
  2. All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/. Under programme name, select “Geography and Environment”.  During the online application process, upload the CENTA studentship application form as a supporting document.

Please quote CENTA22-LU3 when completing your online application.


Funding Notes

The studentship is funded for 3.5 years starting from October 2022 and provides a tax-free stipend of £15,609 per annum (in 2021/22) for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (£4,500 in 2021/22) and a research training support grant (RTSG) of £8,000. Further guidance about eligibility is available at UKRI Terms and Conditions. International students (including EU) are eligible to apply but the difference between the UK and International tuition fee cannot be covered by the Research Council grant and must therefore be met from other sources.
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