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PhD Scholarship: Modelling Microplastic Dispersal, Settling and Distribution in Estuarine Environments

University of Hull

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Kingston upon Hull
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £15,009
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 12th April 2019
Closes: 17th June 2019

To celebrate the University's research successes, the University of Hull is offering a full-time UK/EU, or International PhD Scholarship for candidates applying for the following project.

Closing date: - Monday 17 June 2019

Studentships will start on 16th September 2019

Supervised by Dr Robert Dorrell, Dr Christopher Hackey & Professor Dan Parsons

Estuaries are ubiquitous features along the coastline where fluvial and marine environments meet and interact at a range of temporal and spatial scales. The interaction between river inputs (discharge and sediment load) and marine processes (tides, waves, sediment transport) create dynamic sedimentary basins which can act as temporary stores and sinks of sediment. Plastic particles may be seen as a new, anthropogenic sediment. Different types of plastics are transported at different rates. Low-density plastics are concentrated near the water surface whilst high-density plastics may be transported more slowly near the river-bed. With vertically increasing flow velocity low-density plastics may be transported most quickly but may be more easily trapped on floodplains as floods attenuate. Little is known about the fate of fluvially transported microplastic in estuarine environments. This studentship will focus on modelling the transport and settling rates of microplastics in the Humber Estuary, combining high resolution flow monitoring and sampling with state of the art numerical models to understand where and when microplastics are deposited in estuarine environments under differing fluvial and marine controls.

Applicants should have a 1st class undergraduate degree or Masters level research qualification in a relevant discipline. A 2:1 may be considered, if combined with relevant experience. It is anticipated that the successful applicant will have a 1st class undergraduate degree or Masters level qualification. Additionally, a numerate background with experience in Engineering, Mathematics or Physics would be beneficial.

Contact Dr Robert Dorrell ( for further details.

To apply for this Scholarship please click on the Apply button.

Full-time UK/EU and International PhD Scholarships will include tuition fees and maintenance (£15,009 in 2019/20) for three years, depending 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.

Successful applicants will be informed of the award as soon as possible and by 19th July 2019 at the latest. 

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