November 2011
Message 15

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[Met-jobs] PhD Position at the University of Exeter (UK)

From "Roger Brugge" <>
To "" <>
Date Thu, 3 Nov 2011 09:19:24 +0000

Forwarded from CLIMLIST...

We are inviting applications for a PhD studentship to commence 1 March
2012 in the general area of tropical paleohydrology and the global
carbon cycle. Two potential projects are outlined below. The studentship
will cover UK/EU tuition fees plus an annual stipend of £13,590pa for
three years and will be awarded on the basis of merit. International
fee-paying students are eligible to apply but will be required to pay
the difference between the award and the international fee.

Supervisors: Professor Dan Charman
(Geography), Dr Hugo Lambert
(Mathematics and Computer Sciences)

(1) The link between tropical peatland palaeohydrology and the global
carbon cycle

Peatlands play an important role in the global carbon cycle. They hold
around a third of global soil carbon, sequester carbon dioxide from the
atmosphere, and produce methane through anaerobic decay. Tropical
peatlands are thought to be especially important for methane emissions
but rather little is known about the past hydrological changes that are
a key driver of methanogenesis and other phenomena related to the carbon

The project will involve development of new palaeohydrological records
from Indonesian peatlands that are being studied as part of a larger
NERC-funded project, focusing especially on the last millennium. These
will be used alongside other proxy records to assess the extent to which
tropical peatland hydrology is linked to large-scale patterns of
hydrological variability and change during the Holocene and to estimate
the contribution of tropical wetlands to past global methane emissions.

For informal enquiries on this project, contact Professor Dan Charman at

(2) Understanding Holocene tropical hydrological change and variability

Understanding past climatic variability and change are an important part
of efforts to project future changes in climate. Past climatic behaviour
is estimated from proxy data such as tree rings and ice cores that
primarily describe changes in temperature.

This project will involve using new proxies under development at the
University of Exeter linked to the hydrological cycle to understand
changes in precipitation. Using statistical techniques such as those
recently applied to the relationship between 20th century raingauge data
and known patterns of large-scale precipitation variability, the student
will investigate the extent to which proxy records can be linked to
Holocene precipitation variability and change. The particular focus will
be on South East Asia, where it is expected that variability due to the
El Nino Southern Oscillation will be of paramount importance. This is
particularly interesting as changes in the character of El Nino are
apparent from Holocene records, but not well understood. Estimating
hydrological changes in the region will also help us understand carbon
uptake and carbon dioxide and methane emission by tropical peatlands
that presently contain around a third of the world's soil carbon.

For informal enquiries on this project, contact Dr Hugo Lambert at

Application criteria

The successful applicant should have or expect to achieve at least an
Upper Second Class Honours degree, or equivalent qualifications in
geography, ecology, earth sciences, mathematics, physics, meteorology or
a related discipline. Experience in palaeoenvironmental techniques and
an understanding of Quaternary climate change are essential for project
(1). Some experience in computer programming is essential for project
(2). An interest in climate change is highly desirable for both.We are
inviting applications for a PhD studentship to commence 1 March 2012 in
the general area of tropical paleohydrology and the global carbon cycle.

For further information, please see:

-- Hugo Lambert College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical
Sciences University of Exeter Harrison Building, North Park Road,
Exeter, EX4 4QF, UK tel: +44 (0)1392 724020 www:

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