PhD in Earth and Ocean Science: Detection of forest water stress due to climate change in drought-prone regions of the Southwestern USA

Key facts

Application deadline 7 January 2018
Start date 1 October 2018
Duration 3.5 years
Level of study Postgraduate research
Award type PhD studentship
Number of studentships 2

The two successful PhD students will join a large team of four principal investigators, one postdoc and three other PhD students in the USA on the fourth year, well-funded project that includes travel to remote and beautiful landscapes, opportunities to present your research at international conferences, and substantial interdisciplinary collaboration.

The overall project combines a range of methods (stable isotopes, remote sensing, numerical modeling of rainstorms and watershed moisture, dendrochronology, and forest inventories) to explore the regional expression of climate and climate change and its influence on riparian forests.

The project will develop a set of novel water stress indicators, metrics derived from remote sensing, tree ring isotopes, and characterization of trends in water forest health surveys, which express the state of the riparian forest in response to climatic stress affecting subsurface water availability. It also includes modeling of water fluxes and their availability to vegetation under various climate scenarios.

The project, funded by the US Department of Defense’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program, emphasises the importance of riparian forests in drought-prone landscapes as thermal and moisture refuge for various threatened and endangered species.

Supervisors

Kelly Caylor, University of California Santa Barbara, Dar Roberts, University of California Santa Barbaraand John Stella, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Contact

Michael Singer

Dr Michael Singer

Lecturer in Physical Geography

Email:
singerm2@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 6257

Funding details

Tuition fee support Other
Maintenance stipend The PhD studentship covers a stipend of approximately £15K per year.
Additional funding offered It also includes all expenses related to travel to the USA for fieldwork, lab work, and/or project meetings, as well as attendance/presentation at international conferences.

Eligibility criteria

Residency Open to all students of any nationality without restrictions (UK/EU and International)
Academic criteria

Candidates with a range of experience will be considered. Desirable skills and experience include (one or several): numerical modelling (Python, Matlab, and/or Fortran), analysis of stable isotope ratios (δ18O, δ13C), hydrological data analysis (time series, water balance, spatial interpolation, stochastic methods), dendrochronology, forest ecology, land/water conservation management. Most of all, you should be self-motivated, intellectually curious, and interested in regional expressions of drought and climate change.

Contact

Michael Singer

Dr Michael Singer

Lecturer in Physical Geography

Email:
singerm2@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 6257

Consideration is automatic on applying for a Doctor of Philosophy in Earth and Ocean Sciences with a start date of 1 October 2018.

In the funding section of your application, please select 'I will be applying for a scholarship/grant' and specify that you are applying for this funded PhD project. In the research proposal section, include the project description contained here.

Please include your CV and cover letter with your online application.

We reserve the right to close applications early should sufficient applications be received.

Contact

Michael Singer

Dr Michael Singer

Lecturer in Physical Geography

Email:
singerm2@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 6257
Meet us at our Postgraduate Open Day on 22 November 2017.

Eligible taught courses