[ES_JOBS_NET] PhD opportunties at the James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, Scotland

Erika Marín-Spiotta marinspiotta at wisc.edu
Mon Nov 14 10:39:24 MST 2016

 Dear colleagues

Please find below details of two fully-funded PhD opportunities at the
James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland. I would be most grateful, if
you could pass this information onto any potential candidates who may be
interested in these opportunities. Thank you very much for your help.

*“Tracking the Fluxes of Organic Matter from Land to Water to Build
Resilience in an era of Global Change”*

This PhD studentship aims to address a major knowledge gap in the present
understanding of the magnitude of lateral carbon fluxes from the
terrestrial to aquatic environments and the fate of this carbon across the
soil-aquatic continuum, with the ultimate aim of improving these estimates
in global climate model predictions.  The project will test the use of
emerging state-of-the-art techniques, using naturally occurring biomarkers
such as plant-derived n-alkanes and fatty acids, and their isotopic
signatures, as the new potential tool for tracing of soil organic matter
and act as land-management specific tracers of fluvial organic matter over
decadal timescales in three contrasting Scottish catchments.  This research
project offers an outstanding opportunity for interdisciplinary training
crossing the boundaries of biogeochemistry, hydrology, soil science and
geomorphology and will enable the successful applicant to develop highly
sought-after skills in field science, analytical chemistry and statistical

We welcome applications from candidates with a background in a relevant
subject (Hydrology, Soil Science, Geography, Geomorphology, Chemistry,
Environmental Science or similar). The studentship covers full UK/EU
tuition fees and a tax-free maintenance stipend for 3 years. Funding is
also available for additional project costs (including field and laboratory
work, conference attendance, etc.).

*Application deadline is 6st January 2017*. For more information, follow:


*“Assessing the potential to create nature-based upstream storage features
to manage flood risk”*

Over the past decade many European catchments have experienced an unusually
high number of flood events. In the UK, the role of Natural Flood
Management (NFM) and the catchment based approach are now at the forefront
of the flooding and environmental management debates after the winter
2015/16 floods. There is great potential to store and slow storm runoff
upstream. The recently published House of Commons Environment, Food and
Rural Affairs Committe "Future of Flood prevention" report has suggested
catchment measures need to be adopted on a much wider scale and that
farmland in some places should be used to store flood water. However, there
is currently little confidence or evidence to support that NFM schemes can
provide the amount of storage to radically reduce the impact of flooding.
Also, many current case studies are only partially proven and are at a
small scale (50km2 or less - hence the "future of flooding" report has
called for a catchment scale trail to test NFM methods).

There are two ends to the flood risk management measures spectrum ranging
from natural approaches (e.g. woodland restoration) to traditional
engineering (e.g. flood walls). Offline ponds and storage reservoirs (i.e.
upstream storage) generally fall in the middle ground of this spectrum. The
scale of these storage ponds can vary; as the size of storage increases
then planning and legislation become more pertinent (e.g. Reservoirs Act).
However, it remains a challenge to calculate the amount of storage needed
in a catchment in order to mitigate to a certain standard of protection.
Coupled with this, there is uncertainty about what type or size of storage
is needed (e.g. storage scenarios - lots of small ponds or one large
offline pond), the feasibility of implementation, how this varies with
scale and other Natural Flood Management measures.

Aim and Objectives:

The overall aim of this project is to develop a modelling and management
framework using hydraulic and hydrological modelling approaches to
eventually i) understand how much storage is needed in a large scale
catchment (>50km2) to mitigate to a certain flood protection standard, and
ii) assess which combination of approaches and size/number of storage
pond(s) are needed appropriately for the catchment scale. The specific
objectives to this are to: a) Collate and analyse data from two case study
catchments, b) implement linked modelling methods (Hydraulic and
Hydrological) that incorporate these data c) develop a range of scenarios
that compare and contrast flood risk management strategies indicating what
degree of storage is needed and how this compares to traditional and other
NFM methods, d) develop a conceptual management framework that assesses the
advantages and difficulties of implementing the identified approaches. This
will eventually lead to a decision support framework for the potential of
implementing NFM approaches at larger scales.

The study will focus on two large scale catchments in England (the River
Eden/Lake District) and Scotland (the Tweed Catchment) which have at least
two densely instrumented sub-catchments (>50km2). These catchments cover a
range of land uses, soil types, climatic conditions and topographies.

*Application deadline is 6st January 2017*. For more information, follow:


Dr Miriam Glendell

Environmental and Biochemical Sciences Group

The James Hutton Institute


Aberdeen AB15 8QH

Scotland UK

Tel: +44 (0) 1224 395320 (direct)
Tel: +44 (0) 844 928 5428 (switchboard)
Fax: +44 (0) 844 928 5429
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