Manchester Postgraduate Study Fair

Wednesday 14 November 12.30pm - 3.30pm

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Seasonal inorganic carbon dynamics at the land-ocean interface (BAKKERDU18iNERC)

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  • Full or part time
    Dr D Bakker
    Dr M Johnson
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Rivers transport carbon from land to the oceans. Intense biological activity and mixing of freshwater and seawater in estuaries lead to outgassing of carbon dioxide (CO2), a process which human activities may have increased. This release of riverine carbon to the atmosphere in estuaries and shelf seas is a major uncertainty in estimates of the ocean carbon sink, as used in the Global Carbon Budget.

This PhD studentship will quantify how organic carbon degradation increases CO2 outgassing in UK estuaries and shelf seas. The project is closely associated with the Land Ocean Carbon Transfer ( programme, in which land-ocean carbon fluxes are being quantified. An exceptional sampling program is underway in LOCATE with seasonal sampling in 20 rivers and estuaries around the UK.

You will carry out and interpret inorganic carbon analyses on LOCATE and Cefas SmartBuoy samples from UK rivers and estuaries. You will extend the data set seaward by participation in a research cruise on the R/V Cefas Endeavour. Using your measurements and existing UEA and Cefas data you will determine seasonal carbon transformations along the salinity gradient in estuaries and quantify estuarine and shelf sea CO2 outgassing.

This timely project of global significance includes training in seagoing research, chemical analyses and scientific data interpretation. You will collaborate with dynamic research teams at the University of East Anglia, Cefas, the National Oceanography Centre and at LOCATE institutions. You will be associated with the ENVEast Doctoral Training Programme. You will present your findings at international scientific conferences, in peer-reviewed scientific publications and a PhD thesis.

We seek an enthusiastic, pro-active team player with strong scientific interests and self-motivation. You will have at least a 2.1 honours degree in physics, chemistry, mathematics, computing, or a branch of environmental science. Cruise participation is subject to a medical and sea survival training.

Secondary supervisors: Dr Martin Johnson, Prof Richard Sanders (NOC), Dr Naomi Greenwood (Cefas), Dr Silke Kroeger (Cefas).
Type of Programme: PhD
Start date: October 2018
Mode of Study: Full Time
Acceptable first degree: At least a 2.1 honours degree in physics, chemistry, mathematics, computing, or a branch of environmental science.

Funding Notes

This NERC Industrial Case studentship is in partnership with Cefas funded for 4 years. An annual stipend (in 2017/18 the stipend is £14,553) will be available to the successful candidate who meets the UK Research Council eligibility criteria. These requirements are detailed in the RCUK eligibility guide which can be found at . In most cases UK and EU nationals who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the course are eligible for a full-award. Other EU nationals may qualify for a fees only award.


Bauer, J. E., Cai, W-J., Raymond, P. A., Hopkinson, C. S., Regbier, P. A. (2013) The changing carbon cycle of the coastal ocean. Nature 504: 61-70. doi:10.1038/nature12857

Giering, S. L. C., Sanders, R., Lampitt, R. S., Anderson, T. R., Tamburini, C., Boutrif, M., Zubkov, M., Marsay, C. M., Henson, S. A., Cook, K., Mayor, D. J. (2014) Reconciliation of the carbon budget in the ocean’s twilight zone. Nature 507: 480–483 doi:10.1038/nature13123.

Johnson, M. T., Greenwood, N., Sivyer, D. B., Thomson, M., Reeve, A., Weston, K., Jickells, T. D. (2013) Characterising the seasonal cycle of dissolved organic nitrogen using Cefas SmartBuoy high-resolution time-series samples from the southern North Sea. Biogeochemistry 113: 23-36. doi:10.1007/s10533-012-9737-8.

Legge, O. J., Bakker, D. C. E., Meredith, M. P, Venables, H. J., Brown, P. J., Jones, E. M., Johnson, M. T. (2017) The seasonal cycle of carbonate system processes in Ryder Bay, West Antarctic Peninsula. Deep-Sea Research II 139: 167-180. doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.11.006.

Regnier, P. et al. (2013) Anthropogenic perturbation of the carbon fluxes from land to ocean. Nature Geoscience 6: 597-607. doi: 10.1038/NGEO1830.

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