PhD Title: Modelling the geomorphology impacts of Natural Flood Management interventions using a novel coupling of physical and computational experiments.

University of Hull

Supervisory team: Dr Chris Skinner (; Dr Stuart McLelland; Prof Tom Coulthard; Prof Daniel R. Parsons.

Start date 4th April 2018

For informal queries please contact: Dr Chris Skinner (

Project Summary

Natural Flood Management (NFM) seeks to exploit the natural processes of previously managed river catchments to improve flood attenuation – often called ‘slowing the flow’. Previous experiments and case studies have firmly established the feasibility of NFM at local scales, and many agencies in the UK are considering NFM schemes to reduce flood risk. However, it is still not understood how NFM scales across a whole catchment, and also how effective the schemes remain over the long-term, especially as the impacts on erosion, transport, and deposition of sediment are often overlooked. This lack of understanding is a significant barrier to agencies being able to fund and implement NFM at catchment scales.

This PhD will utilise both physical sediment flume experiments with numerical experiments using hydraulic and geomorphic models. Together with field and remotely sensed observations, the coupled physical and computational experiments will improve our understanding of both water and sediment connectivity at a catchment scale, and simulate the influence NFM interventions have on geomorphology and sediment dynamics. The key outcomes of the experiments will be to i) better quantify catchment-scale changes to flood hazards, and ii) better understand the influence of NFM at catchment scales in the medium-term to long-term (>50-100 years). These outcomes are relevant to catchment management decisions, and will help to remove the barriers to successful implementations of NFM to reduce flood risk.

The successful candidate will also have the opportunity to be part of the exciting public engagement project, The SeriousGeoGames Lab, sharing their research directly to members of the public.

Full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarships will include fees at the ‘home/EU' student rate and maintenance (£14,553 in 2017/18) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

Full-time International Fee PhD Studentships will include full fees at the International student rate for three years, dependent on satisfactory progress.

PhD students at the University of Hull follow modules for research and transferable skills development and gain a Masters level Certificate, or Diploma, in Research Training, in addition to their research degree.

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Northern England