April 2013
Message 47

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[Met-jobs] PhD Studentships at Northumbria University (UK)

From "Roger Brugge" <>
To "" <>
Date Tue, 16 Apr 2013 17:13:18 +0000

Forwarded from CLIMLIST...

Northumbria University is inviting applications for University funded
PhD studentships (see table below). These studentships are available for
uptake from September 2013. For further details and how to apply please


If you are considering an application you would be advised to speak to
the supervisor for the project that interests you. We will provide
advice on how to complete the application form. As these studentships
are part of a University competition, we do not know how many
studentships will be funded – the quality of the applicant will
determine this.

In addition to University funding one of these projects will be funded
through a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Ph.D. studentship
award. Funding for this project is for 3.5 years (42 months) and is
subject to U.K. Natural Environment Research Council regulations. For
this post a candidate must have “a relevant connection with the United
Kingdom.” Full details of eligibility are given at:


and in the NERC Handbook pp.3-7:


If you would like further information please do get in touch. Please
pass this message on to any excellent students who you know are seeking
PhD opportunities.

The deadline for all applications is 26th April 2013.

Kind regards,

Dr Ben Brock, Reader (Energy Balance of Snow and Ice) <>

Dr Nick Rutter, Senior Lecturer (Snow Hydrology and Micrometeorology) <>

Dr Ulrich Salzmann, Reader (Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology and

Professor John Woodward (Glaciers and Cryospheric Processes) <>

Staff home pages can be viewed at:


Air temperature distribution across melting glaciers

Near surface air temperature, /T_a /, is the most important variable
determining the melt rate at a snow or ice surface, yet we lack a basic
understanding of how /T_a / varies across melting glaciers, impeding our
ability to model their response to climate change. This project
addresses the problem through two objectives: i) to characterise and
understand the spatio-temporal variability of /T_a / over melting
glaciers and identify its main controls and physical drivers; and ii) to
develop numerical models of glacier /T_a / regimes which can be applied
in glacier melt models. The project will involve detailed measurements
on alpine glaciers and analysis with numerical atmospheric and weather
models, developing a wide range of valuable skills. The outcomes will
provide more realistic assessments of glacier response to climate change
for water resource management in mountain regions. The student and
supervisors will work closely with UK, Swiss, Italian and Chilean partners.

Dr Benjamin Brock


Web site:


Susceptibility of ancient permafrost carbon to microbial respiration

Recent climate change in the Arctic has increased soil temperatures and
thawed large areas of previously frozen soils, known as permafrost.
These permafrost soils contain vast stocks of carbon approximately twice
the size of the entire current atmospheric pool as CO_2 . Despite their
global significance, the fate and reactivity of permafrost carbon upon
thaw is poorly understood but will depend upon its susceptibility to
microbial degradation and metabolism. This project aims to address the
problem by 1) measuring and characterising the degradation of carbon in
Arctic soils and water and; 2) to identify the major constraints and
controls upon degradation rates and to develop simple numerical models
to allow predictions of future change. The student and supervisors will
work closely with US, Dutch and Russian collaborators and will be
expected to travel to Siberia as part of a scientific team to conduct

Dr Paul Mann


Web site:


Assessing uncertainty in snow modelling of forest gaps and edges

Snowpacks have a strong influence on climatological and hydrological
fluxes between the land and the atmosphere. As approximately 19% of
Northern Hemisphere snow overlaps boreal forest, the ability to
accurately model spatial variability of energy fluxes within forest gaps
and edges is of increasing importance as forests respond to: 1) climatic
change, 2) disturbance by fire or insect infestation, and 3) commercial
timber management. Spatially distributed measurements of energy fluxes
at forest edges and within forest gaps will be made throughout two
winters at field sites near Davos, Switzerland. This will be augmented
by remotely sensed measurements of forest canopy thermal properties and
physical structures using an unmanned airborne vehicle (UAV). In
combination, this will allow evaluation of process representation and
spatial scaling of energy fluxes within forest gaps and edges in model
land-surface schemes.

Dr Nick Rutter

Email: <>

Web site:



Reconstructing vegetation and climate of a Pliocene warmer world in
high resolution

Warm climates in Earth history offer a unique opportunity to explore how
climate processes and feedbacks may change in a future warmer world. The
mid-Pliocene Warm Period (~ 3 million years ago) is the best example of
a climate state in long term equilibrium with current or near future
concentrations of greenhouse gasses. However, robust quantification of
the climate system, as well as our ability to examine and understand
data/model agreement and disagreement, is limited by insufficiently
chronological control on geological data. The aim of the proposed
PhD-project is to use well dated, high-resolution marine records,
available through the repositories of the Integrated Ocean Drilling
Program (IODP ), to reconstruct orbitally controlled changes in Pliocene
terrestrial vegetation which to date are only poorly understood due to
the low number of long continental lake records available. Results will
include quantitative climate reconstructions as well as quantified biome
data for data-model comparison.

Dr Ulrich Salzmann


Web site:


Dr Ben Brock

Reader in Remote Sensing

Engineering and Environment

Northumbria University

Newcastle Upon Tyne



Tel. +44 (0)191 227 3225

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