Minimize PhD Studentship: Life on ice

Date added: 04 December 2017

Organisation: Global Academy Jobs on behalf of The University of Sheffield

Location: Sheffield, UK; fieldwork performed in the Arctic

Closing date for applications: 09 January 2018

It has never been more important to constrain how ice sheets and glaciers melt to enable better prediction of the planet's response to climate change. Recently it has become apparent that surface biology and hydrology play key roles in this arena. For instance, melting causes liquid water to pond between ice crystals, permitting light to travel deeper into the ice, decreasing surface reflectivity, and further exacerbating the melting process. This water also stimulates the growth of light absorbing microbes, in the surface ice; these can then run off, creating complex melting patterns.

This project is focused on applying revolutionary new smartphone based imaging technology, which has been pioneered by the project supervisors, for cryospheric applications. Fieldwork will be performed in the Arctic, where the sensors will be drone-mounted, to map ice surface hydrology, biology and surface reflectivity, alongside ancillary satellite observations. We will thereby aim to significantly expand current understanding on the complex interaction between solar radiation and these ice surface processes, building on the Rolex Award-winning work of the supervisors (e.g., http://www.rolexawards.com/40/laureate/joseph-cook)

The project would suit a motivated student with experience in field-work, an interest in the cryosphere, and climate change, and potentially technical and computational skills.

Funding notes

Fully funded for a minimum of 3.5 years, studentships cover: (i) a tax-free stipend at the standard Research Council rate (at least £14,553 per annum for 2018-2019), (ii) research costs, and (iii) tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Studentship(s) are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements. Students from EU countries who do not meet residency requirements may still be eligible for a fees-only award.

Learn more about the role and how to apply.


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