[ES_JOBS_NET] PhD projects in paleoclimate and ore deposit geology

Erika Marín-Spiotta marinspiotta at wisc.edu
Fri Nov 6 16:40:12 MST 2015

A number of fully-funded Earth Science PhD projects are available through
the NERC GW4+ DTP funding route at the Camborne School of Mines, University
of Exeter. Topics include paleoclimate, critical metal geochemistry, and
ore deposit geology.

All 6 projects are listed here:
1. Coupling of late Pliocene Indian monsoon variability and global climate:
new data from IODP Expedition 353

*Supervisors:* Kate Littler <http://emps.exeter.ac.uk/csm/staff/kl334>(CSM,
University of Exeter), Melanie Leng
<http://www.bgs.ac.uk/staff/profiles/0915.html> (BGS), Pallavi Anand
<http://www.open.ac.uk/people/pa2398> (Open University), Marci Robinson

*Location: *University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Cornwall

*Project description: *The Indian monsoon is one of the most powerful
meteorological phenomena on the planet, affecting the lives of over a
billion people. However, its behaviour in the near future under the
influence of anthropogenic climate change is uncertain, particularly in
terms of the intensity and distribution of seasonal precipitation. The
Pliocene (2.58–5.33 Ma) is the most recent period in Earth’s history with
similar elevated global temperatures and CO2 levels to those predicted for
the coming century, and may serve as a useful analogue for future climate
and monsoon behaviour. The late Pliocene (~3.3–2.5 Ma) was a time of great
global change, witnessing the descent into Northern Hemisphere glaciation
concurrent with a significant drop in CO2. Understanding the response of
the monsoon system during this time of changing boundary conditions will
further enhance our mechanistic understanding.

This project will utilise new deep-sea sediments recovered during IODP
Expedition 353 (Dec 2014–Jan 2015). As this region has never been
scientifically drilled before, these high-resolution cores represent an
unparalleled opportunity to better understand the past behaviour of the
Indian Monsoon through the application of sophisticated multi-proxy
techniques. We will focus on two sites: U1448, Andaman Sea, and Site U1445,
NE Indian Margin. Here we will generate coupled Mg/Ca and d18O records to
reconstruct temperature and d18O seawater (salinity) changes of surface and
thermocline-dwelling planktic foraminifera, at high (2kyr) resolution
allowing us to track the changing response of the monsoon to orbital
forcing. These records will be compared to pollen, biomarker, and
foraminifer assemblage data from the same samples, which will allow a
holistic picture of orbitally-paced climatic change in the region to be

The student will be embedded within the Deep Time Global Change group at
the University of Exeter under the supervision of Dr Littler, where
facilities for sediment and foraminifera processing are available. The
student will benefit from significant involvement with the British
Geological Survey, where the majority of the stable isotope data will be
generated under the supervision of Prof. Leng. The trace element data will
be generated at the Open University under the supervision of Dr Anand. The
student will also visit Dr Robinson at the United States Geological Survey
in the USA to learn foraminiferal assemblage skills, and will attend the
Exp. 353 Post-Cruise Meeting in India in spring 2017, where they will be
fully embedded within the expedition’s international scientific team.

Contact Kate Littler <http://emps.exeter.ac.uk/csm/staff/kl334> to discuss
further before applying.
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