Director of Studies: Professor Richard Thompson
Second supervisor: Dr Mick Hanley
Third supervisor: Dr Iris Möller (Department of Geography, University of Cambridge)
Applications are invited for three and a half years fully funded, XL Catlin Ocean Risk Scholarship, PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 1 October 2018 and will be based in the School of Biological and Marine Sciences at the University of Plymouth.
Habitats like salt marshes play a major role in providing coastal protection, but our ability to link inundation risk to ecosystem responses to flooding remains limited. This studentship combines flood risk prediction with research on biological responses to seawater immersion to better understand the likely biological and socio-economic consequences posed by storm-surge flooding. You will develop a systematic method to determine how flood scenarios impact the vulnerability of key coastal habitats, investigate their ability to contribute to coastal defence, and determine what happens when defences are breached and important economic activities inland (e.g. agriculture), are compromised.
The project combines several approaches including; manipulative experiments to determine the biological impacts of flooding on recipient systems, habitat-scale assessments of environmental vulnerability, and modelling to determine how key parameters (e.g. bathymetry, topography, wave and surge height, vegetation characteristics) enable prediction of flooding impact on coastal habitats.