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Mary Rose: Assessment of Environmental Risks during Display

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Gaisford
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

This exciting project aims to understand the environment surrounding the Mary Rose, the Tudor warship salvaged in 1982 in one of the most ambitious projects of maritime archaeology. The student involved in this innovative research will study the gaseous pollutants of outdoor origin and generated indoors due to the decay of archaeological wood, and will investigate their unknown effects on the exposed materials.

Experimental methods will be developed and used to monitor acetic and formic acid using ion chromatography as well as other VOCs using gas chromatography. Additionally, pollutant loggers (NOx, O3, SO2, total volatile organic compounds – tVOCs, formaldehyde) will be used to monitor concentrations of these compounds. Suitable pollutant sensors will be calibrated and deployed in the Mary Rose display environments in order to obtain long-term continuous monitoring data.

In parallel, tests will be carried out on wood in pollutant exposure chambers to monitor the long-term effect of pollutants. This experiments will be combined with mechanical stability tests, micro-structural analysis, and chemical analysis.
The main research questions are:

1. What are the major pollutants within the Mary Rose museum environments?
2. What sensors are required for the museum environment and how can calibration and validation be ensured in-situ?
3. What are the deleterious effects of these pollutants on archaeological wood?
4. Can environmental risks due to temperature, humidity and pollutants be prioritised?

This project is part of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology at University College London, University of Oxford and University of Brighton (www.seaha-cdt.ac.uk). This four year doctoral research programme will be co-supervised by the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage (http://www.bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/heritage), the National Physics Laboratory (www.npl.co.uk) and the Mary Rose Trust (http://www.maryrose.org/).

As a SEAHA student, you will have unparalleled access to research infrastructure and expertise across three universities and almost 50 heritage, research and industrial partners. SEAHA students also take part in an exciting range of cohort activities, conferences and careers events. Please visit the SEAHA website for details.


The application should include:
• A covering letter clearly stating:
◦ Your motivation and how the course will contribute to your career development
◦ Your residency status and eligibility for funding according to the information provided http://www.seaha-cdt.ac.uk/opportunities/eligibility-criteria/, or how you intend to sponsor your studies if not eligible for funding
◦ Your academic eligibility
• Names of two academic referees (or one academic and one professional if applicable)
• Proof of meeting the UCL English language proficiency requirements where necessary. For SEAHA candidates, an advanced level certificate is normally required (details of English language proficiency requirements can be found at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply/english-language/index)
• A short research proposal (max. 2000 words) written by taking into consideration the above research questions

For full details on how to apply, please click on the project advert here:
http://www.seaha-cdt.ac.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/P29-Mary-Rose_Assessment-of-Environmental-Risks-during-Display-FINAL.pdf

Applications should be emailed direct to the SEAHA Centre Manager:
[email protected]
UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage
UCL Taking Action For Equality.
Application deadline: open until filled.

Funding Notes

The SEAHA Studentship will cover home fees and a stipend of up to a maximum of £16,726 per year (current rate) for eligible applicants (http://www.seaha-dt.ac.uk/opportunities/eligibility-criteria/), and a substantial budget for research, travel, and cohort activities.

The award will be subject to Grant Agreement between UCL, the National Physics Laboratory and the Mary Rose Trust.


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