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Resilience of saltmarsh ‘Blue Carbon’ storing to environmental change

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  • Full or part time
    Dr M. Skov
    Dr J Shepperson
    Dr W Austin
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Coastal ecosystems, such as salt marshes, may undergo sudden shifts in area extent, which affect a multitude of coastal processes. The causes for changes are often unknown, and the worry is that they will increase into the future. Understanding the drivers and the consequence of shifts in area cover is profoundly important to predicting the effects of emergent climate change. This PhD will examine the effects of saltmarsh areal change to ‘blue carbon’ storing – a globally important service delivered by salt marshes. Management of ecosystems for carbon capture is a key component of current mitigation of the effects of climate change. Yet, we do not know the resilience of our carbon stores to environmental change. This PhD studentship will sample carbon stocks and use radio-isotope date from salt marshes with known patterns of change (eroding, expanding, unchanged) to explore the over-arching hypothesis, that carbon capturing by salt marshes is resilient to environmental change. You will investigate the proportions of saltmarsh carbon that derives from other systems (terrestrial, marine) to infer the importance of ecosystem connectivity to carbon storing. The PhD will finally examine the causes for saltmarsh areal change, to predict the resilience of marsh carbon stores to future environmental change.

We seek a dynamic and inquisitive student with a strong interests in ecosystem processes. You must have a 2.1 or 1st class (or equivalent) BSc in a relevant science discipline, an interest in ecology and, ideally but not essentially, biogeochemistry. Training or experience with numerate science is desirable.

You will join a friendly and interactive team of students, postdocs and staff investigating saltmarsh resilience, ecology and management, and be affiliated to the C-SIDE project ( Supervisors and training: Dr Martin Skov (Bangor) saltmarsh ecology, blue carbon sampling, resilience and statistical design/analysis. Dr Jennifer Shepperson (Bangor): remote sensing, GIS analysis and spatial statistics. Professor William Austin (St Andrews University): radio-isotope analysis and interpretation. Further support: Dr Jordi Pagès (CEAB, Spain. Carbon resilience), Angus Garbutt (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. Management application).

For further details and to apply please contact Dr Martin Skov of the School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University [Email Address Removed]

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