PhD Studentship: Seawater Control of an Atmospheric Pollutant: Ocean-atmosphere Interactions between Iodine and Ozone (BAKER_UENV18EE)

University of East Anglia - School of Environmental Sciences

Start Date: October 2018

No. of positions available: 1

Supervisor: Professor Alex Baker

Project description: Ozone is a key atmospheric oxidant, greenhouse gas and air pollutant. Loss of ozone to the sea surface is an important but poorly constrained process, with implications for coastal air quality forecasts. Some ozone loss is driven by rapid reactions with iodide (I-) in the sea surface. These reactions lead to the production of volatile iodinated compounds that cause further atmospheric ozone destruction.

The sea surface microlayer (SML) is key to understanding the impact of iodide on atmospheric composition. The SML is the thin (few 10s of µm) film of water between the atmosphere and ocean. This is where ozone and iodide mix and react, and its composition is very different to that of bulk seawater. In particular the SML contains very high concentrations of organic matter, which itself reacts with ozone, and with the products of the ozone – iodide reaction (HOI and I2). We urgently need to understand the influence of the SML on ozone-iodide reactions so that we can quantify the impact of this chemistry.

Your role will be to apply novel analytical techniques to the study of ozone - iodide interactions at the SML. You will design controlled laboratory studies at the UEA air-sea reaction chamber (https://www.uea.ac.uk/environmental-sciences/sea-ice-chamber) and apply your knowledge and experience to studies at an established air-sea interaction field site in Plymouth.

You will receive comprehensive, hands-on training in working in a state-of-the-art environmentally controlled air-sea reaction chamber, and in advanced analytical techniques, including mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), flow voltammetric and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) analysis. Alongside this, you will receive exceptional training opportunities in marine fieldwork at the Western Channel and Penlee Point Atmospheric Observatories (http://www.westernchannelobservatory.org.uk/penlee).

You will benefit from a team of experienced and friendly supervisors from the University of East Anglia and Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the array of scientific networks and career opportunities associated with these institutes.

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the EnvEast NERC Doctoral Training Partnership, comprising the Universities of East Anglia, Essex and Kent, with over twenty other research partners. Undertaking a PhD with the EnvEast DTP will involve attendance at mandatory training events throughout the course of the PhD.

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed on 12/13 February 2018.

For further information, please visit www.enveast.ac.uk/apply.

Person specification: We are looking for a student with a passion for marine and atmospheric science, holding a BSc or Masters level degree in Marine or Atmospheric Science, Environmental Science, Chemistry (or similar). EnvEast welcomes applicants from quantitative disciplines who may have limited background in environmental sciences. Excellent candidates will be considered for an award of an additional 3-month stipend to take appropriate advanced-level courses in the subject area.

Funding notes: Successful candidates who meet RCUK’s eligibility criteria will be awarded a NERC studentship - in 2017/18, the stipend is £14,553. In most cases, UK and EU nationals who have been resident in the UK for 3 years are eligible for a stipend. For non-UK EU-resident applicants NERC funding can be used to cover fees, RTSG and training costs, but not any part of the stipend. Individual institutes may, however, elect to provide a stipend from their own resources.

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

South East England