January 2012
Message 47

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

From "Roger Brugge" <>
To "" <>
Date Thu, 19 Jan 2012 11:00:01 +0000

Forwarded from CLIMLIST...

PhDs in Holocene tropical hydrological change and the global carbon
cycle Ref: 921
About the award

The University of Exeter is investing £230 million in science,
engineering and medicine, building on existing areas of excellence. The
interdisciplinary approach of the University’s Science Strategy is
bringing staff together from across academic disciplines to tackle some
of the big issues of our time. One of the five key themes of activity
under the Science Strategy is Climate Change and Sustainable Futures.
This theme underpins our growing strategic partnership with the
Exeter-based Met Office. This partnership facilitates joint research
between our two organisations to advance climate science together.

Under the leadership of Professor Peter Cox, Climate Change and
Sustainable Futures consists of a vibrant community of over 100 academic
staff who work in areas as diverse as physical sciences, environmental
economics, health, policy and regulation, and behavioural change. For
further information on our work, please visit the Climate Change and
Sustainable Futures
<> web pages.

We are inviting applications for a PhD studentship to commence in
October 2012 (or earlier if possible) 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.

Primary supervisor: Professor Dan

Secondary supervisor: Dr Hugo

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 Southeast 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 deadline:20th April 2012
Number of awards:1
Value:The studentship will cover tuition fees (UK/EU) plus an annual
stipend of £13,590pa for three years Duration of award:per year

For more information and to apply, please see here:

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