|Funding for:||UK Students, EU Students|
|Funding amount:||From £15,609|
|Placed On:||22nd October 2021|
|Closes:||10th January 2022|
Tropical peatlands are globally important and potentially vulnerable carbon stores, but are understudied, sparsely measured and have rarely been modelled. Models are crucial to help understand how they might respond to future changes in climate and management. These peatlands can be extremely sensitive to variations in their water supply (rainfall and river flooding), but due to the lack of measurements and modelling studies, exactly how they respond is currently unknown.
Recently, evidence has started to emerge from the peatland model DigiBog that sub- and inter-annual patterns of rainfall as well as the total amount of rain can drastically affect tropical peatland functioning and even whether a peatland is able to exist in a certain location.
A new dataset from across a range of tropical peatlands is currently being collected in the project TroPeaCC led by Prof. Gallego-Sala at Exeter; a large dataset has also been collected in the Congo basin on the NERC CongoPeat project, which Exeter researchers are part of. These new datasets provide a unique opportunity to develop the scientific understanding to underpin a realistic pan-tropical peatland model, as part of wider climate change modelling efforts.
Project Aims and Methods:
During this PhD project, you will use two complementary modelling techniques, a) a point or small-scale ecohydrological model (DigiBog) and b) a global land surface model, the Joint UK Land Environment Simulator (JULES) to explore the impact of water supply and regime (in particular rainfall seasonality and intensity) on tropical peatland functioning. There are four main tasks:
You will have an opportunity to be involved in the design of the project, including bringing in your own ideas to influence the research direction.
Applicants should have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree in maths, physics, engineering, environmental science, chemistry or geography, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK. Experience in data analysis and programming is desirable. Applicants with a Lower Second Class degree will be considered if they also have a relevant Master’s degree. Applicants with a minimum of Upper Second Class degree and significant relevant non-academic experience are encouraged to apply. All applicants would need to meet our English language requirements by the start of the project http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply/english/.
Type / Role: