PhD Funded Studentship in The Environmental Ate of Emerging Sediment-Associated Contaminants and Antibiotic-Resistant Microbes in River Sediment and Floodplains

University of Lincoln

Applications are invited for a funded PhD studentship in ‘The environmental fate of emerging sediment-associated contaminants and antibiotic-resistant microbes in river sediment and floodplains’. We are seeking outstanding, highly motivated postgraduate students to undertake a doctoral study in the Lincoln Centre for Water and Planetary Health (School of Geography) at the University of Lincoln.

Globally river sediments are a major means whereby contaminants and microbes are dispersed in freshwater aquatic systems. The source-pathway-receptor relationships of some sediment-associated pollutants, most notably toxic metals released into the environment in large quantities since the Industrial Revolution, are now generally well understood. However, in the past two decades as a result of the refinement of analytical techniques a new group of so called “contaminants of emerging concern” (CEC; e.g. pharmaceuticals, steroids and hormones, flame retardants) have been recognised that are believed to have harmful effects on human and animal health. Related to this there is also growing concern that antibiotic-resistant microbes (AMs) that are also transported by river sediment and deposited by floodwaters, pose a threat to human and animal health.

The large-scale and long-term environmental fate of CECs in river systems, including their transformation pathways and products, and how river systems affect microbial population dynamics and the movement of AM resistant strains, has not been thoroughly explored. The primary aim of this project will be to undertake the first event-based and catchment-scale investigations of sediment-associated CEC and microbial population dynamics in range of river channel and floodplain environments. Study areas will include urban and rural catchments in both the UK and New Zealand as well as a number of large rivers worldwide (Danube and Zambezi).

The successful PhD student will focus on CEC and a PDRA who will investigate microbial communities via eDNA approaches and antibiotic-resistant microbes in river sediment and floodplains.
The project is supported by the new Lincoln Centre for Water and Planetary Health (LCWPH) and the supervisory team will comprise Professor Mark Macklin (Director LCWPH and School of Geography), Professor Mat Goddard (School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, UK), and Professor Mark Taylor (Macquarie University, Australia).

Information about LCWPH and the School of Geography can be found at the following links:

Open to UK and EU students only

Tuition Fees included (capped at UK/EU fee level)

Stipend/Living allowance: £14,052 per annum Research expenses to be paid up to £1,500

Start date: As soon as possible

Duration: 36 months

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a first or higher upper second-class honours degree, and preferably a relevant Master’s degree (or equivalent experience) in Physical Geography, Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, and/or Life Sciences with substantial experience of qualitative research, excellent report-writing and English language communication skills and ability to work to deadlines.

How to apply

Applications must comprise: 1-page covering letter, 2-page research proposal, 2-page CV, and be e-mailed to Mrs Fiona Burstow: Closing Date: 31st October 2017.
Interviews are due to be held mid-November with the successful candidate starting as soon as possible after this date.

Informal enquiries may be made to Professor Mark Macklin:

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