Ice-mass dynamics and evolution on the Svalbard Archipelago since the last glaciation

Loughborough University - Department of Geography

Start date: October 1st 2017

Interview date: Week beginning February 13th 2017

Primary supervisor: Dr Jeff Evans

Secondary supervisor: Dr David Ryves

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship funded by the NERC CENTA Doctoral Training Partnership to start in October 2017. The project will be based in the Department of Geography at Loughborough University.

Project Detail:
Svalbard was formerly covered by the northern part of the Eurasian Ice Sheet (Barents Sea Ice Sheet; BSIS) during the last glaciation, and subsequent deglacial warming left glaciers and ice caps on the islands. Establishing a multi-millennial context for contemporary ice-mass thinning and recession in Svalbard will help improve our understanding of the long-term significance of this change and the role of atmospheric and oceanic forcing.

Marine studies have focused on western and northern areas and show it was drained by ice streams, and that at a late stage of deglaciation, a dynamic, multi-dome ice sheet may have developed. However, the evolution of the BSIS in the key sector formerly covering the east-southeast Svalbard continental shelf close to one of these domes is unknown. A critical geological data gap in this area has hindered regional-scale time-dependent ice sheet and oceanographic modelling and reconstructions. Therefore, there is a pressing need to construct a multi-disciplinary, multi-millennial record of glacial and oceanographic change in order to understand better the evolution, dynamics and response of the BSIS to long-term climate and ocean change, including transformation into local ice caps and response to Holocene climate change. 

Marine geophysics, glacial-geomorphology and micropalaeontology will be used to construct records of long-term change for the study area. We require a candidate who is willing to undertake multi-disciplinary research, participate in a marine cruise to the east-southeast Svalbard shelf and undertake study visits to The University Centre in Svalbard. The candidate will have the room to develop the project and core ideas, and contribute to marine cruise planning including the selection of survey and coring areas.

Find out more:
General information about the Department of Geography can be found at and more information about the project and CENTA can be found at 

Entry requirements:
Applicants will normally need to hold, or expect to gain, at least a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in Geography, Earth Science or Environmental Science.  A Master’s degree and/or experience in a related area associated with the research will be an advantage.

Funding information:
The studentship is for 3.5 years, which is intended to start October 2017. It provides a tax-free stipend of £14,296 per annum (2016/17 rate) for the duration plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and a research training support grant of £8,000. Due to funding restrictions, only students with UK/EU fee status will be considered for this opportunity. For further information on studentship eligibility please see RCUK Terms & Conditions.

Contact details:
Dr Jeff Evans,, +44 (0)1509 223038

How to apply:

Please quote CENTA-LU5 when completing your online application.

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