Physical Geography and Earth Science PhD Opportunities


Primary Supervisor - Dr Tom Holt

  • A multi-temporal inventory of Greenland’s independent ice caps and stand- alone glaciers
  • Spatio-temporal and magnitude-frequency analysis of glacier calving events
  • Multi-spectral analysis of Alpine glacier surfaces using UAVs and close-range photogrammetry (contact Tom for further info).
  • The influence of structural glaciology on turbulent energy fluxes and surface melt (contact Tom for further info).
  • Glacier dynamics in the Canadian Arctic (contact Tom for further info).
  • "Englacial highways": glacier structures as transport routes for cryobiological material (contact Tom for further info).

Primary Supervisor - Professor Alun Hubbard

  • Glacier & Ice Sheet surveillance by UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle)
  • The long-term dynamic response of Greenland's land and marine terminating outlets to climate and oceanic change
  • Determining the sensitivity and future response of glaciers and ice caps to climate change                                   
  • Modelling and reconstructing the palaeo-glaciology and fluctuations of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet     

Primary Supervisor – Professor Bryn Hubbard                

Primary Supervisor - Dr Tristram Irvine-Fynn

Primary Supervisor - Dr Andrew Mitchell

  • Geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry in subglacial environments – Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine.
  • Mineralogical controls on microbial communities in subglacial environments                                      


Quaternary Environmental Change

Primary Supervisor – Dr Sarah Davies                                

  • Late-glacial and Holocene environmental change recorded in lake sediments from upland Wales                             

Primary Supervisor – Professor Geoff Duller

  • Developing luminescence methods for dating basalts from Earth suitable for application to robotic exploration of Mars

Primary Supervisor – Professor John Grattan

  • Finding the First Factories: Archaeological remote sensing in Jordan through integration of radar and hyperspectral data

Primary Supervisor – Professor Henry Lamb

Primary Supervisor – Professor Nick Pearce

  • Resolving the early palaeozoic tectonic development of the perio-Gondwanan margin in north Wales          

Primary Supervisor – Professor Helen Roberts


Earth Observation Unit                                           

Primary Supervisor - Dr Peter Bunting

  • Projects involving the development of new and improved methods / techniques for analysing Earth Observation imagery – optical and/or SAR. For example, image segmentation, texture analysis, contextual classification, classification techniques (e.g., machine learning, deep learning). This work would enhance our RSGISLib ( software.
  • Projects investigating methods of improving the generation of analysis ready optical data (ARD). For example, atmospheric correction and cloud masking. This will enhance our ARCSI ( software.
  • Projects looking to automated the process of updating of land cover (i.e., change detection) mapping at large geographic scales (i.e., national, continental and global) using high resolution (Landsat, Sentinel 1 and 2) data.
  • Remote sensing of changes in mangrove forests at any scale.
  • Classification of very high resolution (i.e., UAV/drone imagery < 10cm resolution) to automatically retrieve broad land cover information. Might involve texture analysis and/or deep learning methods of classification.

Primary Supervisor - Dr Andy Hardy

  • Mapping malarial mosquito habitats using Earth Observation

Primary Supervisor - Dr George P. Petropoulos

  • Spatio-temporal estimates of energy fluxes and/or soil surface moisture from space via the synergy of EO data with a deterministic simulation process model.
  • Advancing land use/cover mapping from space via the fusion between optical and LiDAR EO data.
  • Development of a remote sensing-based image processing technique for semi-automated extraction of flooded areas from optical EO data and damage assessment.
  • An investigation of the spectral properties of different land surface objects and of their spectral separability via the analysis of field-based spectroradiometric measurements.
  • An enhancement of the SimSphere process model towards a more accurate representation of land surface interaction processes of the Earth’s system.
  • Application of field spectroscopy and hyperspectral remote sensing to the detection and assessment metal-contaminated floodplains. 


River Basin Dynamics and Hydrology

Primary Supervisor – Professor Paul Brewer

Primary Supervisory - Dr Hywel Griffiths

Primary Supervisor – Professor David Kay

  • Sustainable remediation strtegies to reduce microbial pollution from farming activities to bathing and shellfish waters                                                      

Primary Supervisor – Professor Stephen tooth

  • Divided in flow but united in denudation?: establishing the temporal development of mixed bedrock-alluvial anabranching rivers
  • Wetlands in drylands as sociogeomorphological systems: an examination of the science-society-policy interface

Mircrobes and Earth Cluster

Primary Supervisory - Dr Andrew Mitchell

  • Geochemical and biogeochemical aspects of carbon capture and storage – water, rock, microbe interactions.
  • Microbially enhanced carbon capture and storage
  • Microbially enhanced radionuclide and toxic metal pacification in groundwater and mine water
  • Geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry in subglacial environments – Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine.
  • Mineralogical controls on microbial communities in subglacial, groundwater and mine aqueous environments