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PhD Studentship

PhD Studentship - Using geostatistics and hydraulic modelling to assess monitoring strategies for anthropogenically driven change in river morphology

Application deadline: 21 November 2008

Duration of award: Three years

Award type: PhD


Funded by the Environment Agency and EPSRC, a bursary of up to ?15,435 p.a. for three years plus fees available. Conditions apply*

Cranfield University is seeking a highly motivated graduate to undertake an exciting research project which looks at how anthropogenic pressures have altered the dynamics of most freshwater ecosystems. These alterations can be observed in both physical and biological variables; for example, the canalisation of a reach will have an effect on both the river morphology and the fish species inhabiting the ecosystem. It is important to the Environment Agency, under the Water Framework Directive, to assess the effect of these pressures on river morphology, however there is no protocol to establish how these effects should be monitored. Also river restoration projects are carried out to remediate the effects of these pressures but they often lack comprehensive monitoring that assesses the success or failure of the project. Again this is mainly due to a lack of scientifically validated, practical monitoring strategies.

This project aims to develop these statistically robust monitoring schemes into a monitoring framework which can be applied across the UK. This framework will then be used to quantify the accuracy of less resource intensive strategies, working towards addressing Water Framework Directive targets for intercalibration and achieving Good Ecological Status (GES) using scientifically validated methods.

Principle objectives of the project are;

  1. To identify the main monitoring strategies, methods and networks that have been used in practice at national and international level when assessing changes in river morphology.
  2. To develop a statistically robust monitoring framework to assess changes in river morphology.
  3. To quantify the reduction in accuracy from using the strategies currently in practice and the statistically robust monitoring framework developed.
  4. To critically assess the benefits of using morphological sampling to complement biological assessment in large rivers.

The successful candidate will spend a minimum of three months at the Environment Agency developing the project. Travel and accommodation will be funded during that period

Entry requirements
Applicants should have an MSc as well as a first or upper second class UK honours degree, or equivalent, in a relevant discipline such as environmental science, statistics or geography.

Funding
*Supported by an EPSRC I-Case bursary, this studentship will cover tuition fees and provide a bursary of up to ?14,000 p.a. for the first year, and rising up to ?15,435 p.a. for the final year. The studentship is ONLY open to UK and EU candidates. Refer to http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/PostgraduateTraining for details of student eligibility.

How to apply
If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the Application Form, or you can request that we post one to you. Alternatively you may wish to apply online. For further information contact us today:

School of Applied Sciences
T: +44 (0)1234 754086
E: appliedsciences(at)cranfield.ac.uk
Please note that we are unable to consider submissions for specific research studentships that fall outside of the stated eligibility criteria

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