Saltmarshes are vital blue carbon ecosystems
Coastal ecosystems are important flood defenses between sea and inland areas, habitats for flora and fauna, and natural carbon sinks.
This project focuses on UK saltmarshes’ climate change mitigation and adaptation potential. These so-called “blue carbon ecosystems” have been reduced due to land reclamation or in-filling for built development; but they now offer us a lifeline in the face of more frequent extreme weather events and accelerated sea-level rise. Yet the socio-economic opportunities of saltmarshes are poorly understood and can be viewed with scepticism by coastal communities. How can current human behaviour be influenced to support rapid conservation and restoration of saltmarshes?
What will you do?
You will use a cutting-edge combination of methods at the interface of environmental sciences, environmental and behavioural economics, with the opportunity to do fieldwork and inform policymakers. You will evaluate saltmarshes’ mitigation and adaptation potential in the UK using available data to assess their ecosystem services (ES) provision and economic value. You will identify potential restoration/conservation sites and investigate stakeholder views regarding saltmarsh ES and land use transformation. You will formulate and test options for ecosystem management and project financing using behavioural methods (e.g. videos with role model interviews), developing transferable methods.
What opportunities will you get?
You will join the PhD programme within the School of Economics, become a member of the Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Sciences and the Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment, and work with members of the School of Environmental Sciences and Cefas. Doctoral training covers one year of courses in research methods, theory and quantitative skills. You can enrol in other courses and Summer Schools and participate in seminars. Finally, you can draw on your supervisors’ contacts with policymakers and conservation organisations.
What we are looking for
We are seeking a candidate with a good MSc in Economics or related disciplines. You should have a strong interest in interdisciplinary research; be comfortable with quantitative and qualitative data; have good interpersonal skills; and be curious about human behaviour and how we interact with our natural environment.
This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Critical Decade for Climate Change programme. For more information about the programme and details of how to apply, please visit https://www.uea.ac.uk/climate/show-and-tell/leverhulme-doctoral-scholars-applicant-information.
For more information on the supervisor for this project, please visit the UEA website www.uea.ac.uk
The start date for this project is 1st October 2023.