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.
Primary Supervisor - Dr Tom Holt
- A multi-temporal inventory of Greenland’s independent ice caps and stand-alone glaciers
- Glacier structure and debris evolution in a warming climate
- Debris transport in receeding glaciers and implications for future melt
Plus projects relating to remote sensing in glaciology - contact Tom for informal discussions.
Primary Supervisor – Professor Bryn Hubbard
Borehole-based investigations of englacial structure and processes at a temperate glacier
- Remote sensing-based:
Remote sensing of the dynamics of outlet glaciers of the Greenland Ice Sheet
The structure of valley glaciers on Mars
Primary Supervisor - Dr Tristram Irvine-Fynn
- Exploring the eco-hydrology of glacier surfaces
- Supraglacial ice characteristics retrieved from remote sensing techniques
Primary Supervisor - Dr Marie Busfield
- Sedimentology and micromorphology of ancient glacial successions: Palaeoproterozoic, Cryogenian, Ordovician, Late Palaeozoic Ice Age, Pleistocene
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
- Luminescence chronologies for lacustrine sedimentary records from East Africa
- The application of luminescence dating to marine terrace sediments from California and Oregon, USA
- Extending the age range for luminescence dating of loess
Primary Supervisor - Professor Andrew Thomas
- Projects concerning soils, carbon, carbon dioxide emissions, drylands, and wetlands in drylands.
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
Earth Surface Processes Research Group
Primary Superisor - Professor Andrew Thomas
- Soil degradation, soil carbon, soil carbon dioxide emissions, impacts of grazing in a variety of temperate environments.
- Woodlands, carbon accounting, soil micro-climates, hydrology (with Hywel Griffiths, Stephen Tooth and Paul Brewer).
- Dryland soils, degradation, carbon, and wetlands in drylands – particularly in Spain, Botswana and Namibia (with Stephen Tooth).
Primary Supervisor – Professor Paul Brewer
- Mining impacts on river systems.
- Application of hyperspectral remote sensing to the detection and assessment metal-contaminated floodplains.
- Spatial and temporal changes in river channel instability.
Primary Supervisory - Dr Hywel Griffiths
- Historical and contemporary catchment-scale dynamics and geomorphological influence of large woody debris
- Understanding river channel change dynamics in Patagonian river systems using remote sensing and GIS
- Assessing rates and patterns of sediment supply to Llyn Tegid, North Wales.
- Interdisciplinary approaches to flood hazard assessment in dryland rivers systems (e.g. in Jordan, Patagonia)
- Impacts of woodland restoration on hydrological processes and soils (with Andrew Thomas & Paul Brewer).
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.