Physical Geography and Earth Science PhD Opportunities

Potential areas for PhD research are listed below, grouped by the Research Group (Earth Observation, Glaciology, Earth Surface Dynamics, Quaternary Environmental Change) that students would be affiliated with. Where applicants would like to propose their own topic they should approach potential supervisors directly to discuss their ideas well in advance of the application deadline.

Glaciology

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 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 (http://www.rsgislib.org) 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 (http://www.rsgislib.org/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

 

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