While the present and past variability of the South and East Asian monsoon systems have received intense scrutiny, the Southeast Asian monsoon is not nearly as well studied. As a result, the long-term behaviour of the Southeast Asian monsoon remains largely unknown and, considering the societal and economic importance of the monsoon in Vietnam, there is a clear need for well-dated, high-resolution palaeoclimate records in this area.
Using speleothems from northern Vietnam you will investigate the past dynamics of the Southeast Asian monsoon. Preliminary investigations in this area indicate the presence of speleothems suitable for palaeoclimate investigations with growth periods covering key intervals of climate change in the late Pleistocene and Holocene. You will develop a programme to monitor the cave hydrologic and environmental characteristics, and the connection to local and regional climate. After a careful calibration of geochemical signal in the cave with climate parameters, you will develop high-resolution timeseries of stable isotopes in speleothems and investigate the teleconnections of local monsoon variability with regional and global climate. This will allow the identification of monsoon forcings on both short and long timescales and the presence of leads and lags in the climate system. The results can then be used to test existing and developing climate models, including those used by the IPCC for future climate prediction. The project will be a collaboration between Northumbria University, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Eligibility and How to Apply
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required (evidence required by 1 August 2017).
For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see
Please ensure you quote the advert reference above on your application form.
Deadline for applications: 20 January 2017
Start Date: 2 October 2017
Northumbria University is an equal opportunities provider and in welcoming applications for studentships from all sectors of the community we strongly encourage applications from women and under-represented groups.
This project is being considered for funding in competition with other projects, through one of two types of funding packages available:
• Fully funded studentships include a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates for 2017/18 (this is yet to be set, in 2016/17 this is £14,296 pa) and fees (Home/EU £4,350 / International £13,000 / International Lab-based £16,000), and are available to applicants worldwide.
• As Northumbria celebrates its 25th anniversary as a University and in line with our international outlook, some projects may also be offered to students from outside of the EU supported by a half-fee reduction.
Ersek, Vasile, Clark, Peter, Mix, Alan, Cheng, Hai and Edwards, Lawrence (2012) Holocene winter climate variability in mid-latitude western North America. Nature Communications, 3. 1219-n/a. ISSN 2041-1723
Ersek, Vasile, Mix, Alan and Clark, Peter (2010) Variations of δ18O in rainwater from southwestern Oregon. Journal of Geophysical Research, 115 (D9). ISSN 0148-0227
Ersek, Vasile, Hostetler, Steven, Cheng, Hai, Clark, Peter, Anslow, Faron, Mix, Alan and Edwards, Lawrence (2009) Environmental influences on speleothem growth in southwestern Oregon during the last 380000 years. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 279 (3-4). pp. 316-325. ISSN 0012821X
McGregor, Helen, Evans, Michael, Goosse, Hugues, Leduc, Guillaume, Martrat, Belen, Addison, Jason, Mortyn, Graham, Oppo, Delia, Seidenkrantz, Marit-Solveig, Sicre, Marie-Alexandrine, Phipps, Steven, Selvaraj, Kandasamy, Thirumalai, Kaustubh, Filipsson, Helena and Ersek, Vasile (2015) Robust global ocean cooling trend for the pre-industrial Common Era. Nature Geoscience, 8 (9). pp. 671-677. ISSN 1752-0894