skip to content

Cambridge NERC Doctoral Training Partnerships

Graduate Research Opportunities

Research in the Departments of Archaeology, Chemistry, Applied Maths and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP), Earth Sciences, Geography, Plant Sciences and at BAS includes study of physics at all levels in the atmosphere, atmospheric chemistry, climate processes, sea-level rise impacts, coastal flood and erosion hazards, palaeoclimate, solar-terrestrial processes, glaciology (land ice and sea ice), physical oceanography, carbon cycle and biogeochemistry.

Study the interaction between natural and artificial kelp forests and ocean physics and biogeochemistry and the potential for carbon drawdown and sequestration
Investigating redox and other chemical and biological reactions in a range of environments using a novel analytical technique developed with Thermo Scientific.
Invisible to the naked eye lies a tremendous diversity of organic molecules that shapes the world's biogeochemical cycles.
In this project you will work with a range of stakeholders and use the newly developed UKESM1 model to quantify the impacts on the atmosphere of new technologies/adaptations made to reach Net Zero carbon emissions.
Antarctic ice shelves are vital for the stability of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, but are increasingly being affected by surface melting which can ultimately cause ice shelf collapse.
Bubbles of air in ice cores remember the pressure of the overlying air when they are trapped and thus could be used to monitor of the height of the ice sheet over time - but only if the processes during bubble trapping are fully understood.
Working out the mechanisms of calcium carbonate precipitation by organisms, which are critical to our ability to predict the future of Earth’s climate, and key to interpreting the record of Earth’s past.
This project will advance our understanding of deep ocean turbulent mixing mediated by wave-breaking (a key area of uncertainty for the climate) through an iterative combination of observational data analysis, high resolution numerical simulations, physical modelling and machine learning.
This project will resolve climate-sensitivity of glaciers using fibre-optic sensing technology
This project will investigate ice flow in the catchment of Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica. The aim is to understand how ice flow and contemporary change in Thwaites’ catchment pose a threat for the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet as a whole.
Forest planting and proforestation - the protection and restoration of natural forests - are seen as key natural climate solutions. Forests already sequester a significant fraction of CO2 emitted from fossil fuel consumption and many governments have committed to increase forest cover to combat climate change. There is also hope that carbon offsetting payments could help protect beleaguered tropical forests, benefit local livelihoods and save biodiversity. However, rising air temperatures are responsible for increased evaporative demand, placing forest under water stress and leading to tree mortality in many regions (e.g. Hubau et al. 2020 Nature ). How does this increased mortality affect the global carbon sink and how should forest management adapt to ensure the right trees are planted in the right places to tolerate future climates? A combination of field measurements, remote sensing and modelling are needed to resolve these important issues.
This project investigates sea salt and ice nucleating particles (INP) in air and snow above sea ice to quantify an hitherto unknown particle source associated with blowing snow during storms and to assess implications for polar-region wide background aerosol, clouds and climate.
The global land surface is a poorly understood component of the global carbon cycle - this project will investigate the mechanisms responsible for the observed spatial and temporal variability in global land-atmosphere CO2 exchange using a new terrestrial ecosystem and land use model.
The formation and maintenance of long-lived smoke-filled vortices, observed in the stratosphere following intense wildfires in Canada in 2017 and in Australia in 2019-20, will be studied using dynamical theory and numerical simulations.
The project will investigate the interaction between convective clouds and their impact on the cloud spectrum with the aim to improve the representation of convection in climate models.
Investigate what causes surface melt on George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctica by combining high-resolution climate simulations with state of the art remote sensing techniques!
This project will seek to understand how geodiversity controls forest structure and dynamics in Europe from micro to macro scale, using terrestrial laser scanning, drone LiDAR and photogrammetry, and Earth Observation data.
Using novel remote sensing and predictive modelling to understand the structure, function and future of temperate wet woodlands.
This project aims to understand the potential impact of increase in iron input in the Southern Ocean, as consequence of ice retreat, using an isotopic geochemistry approach.
This project aims at developing a new quantitative method for synchronization of ice core records that will enable generating improved reconstructions of volcanism and solar forcing of the past 60,000 years.
This project aims at extending the AMOC monitoring record by developing fingerprints derived from climate model simulations and observations to link AMOC with variables that are measured extensively in palaeo-climate records.
Restoring carbon lost from soils due to agriculture are a lynchpin of society’s plans to hit emission-reduction targets, and will be improved in this project by developing a new-age soil carbon model with unprecedented data on farm-level yields and soils in collaboration with private companies working to implement carbon offset schemes.
Tipping points in temperate forests regulated by fire-disease interactions quantified by fusing remote sensing, field sampling, and ecosystem models.
Constraining the Rare Earth Element (REE) geochemistry of seawater and sediments and how weathering, ocean chemistry, and climate changed their cycling on geological timescales
The concept of Tipping Points largely defines the current climate emergency. In this project you will use the current state-of-the-art UK climate model to investigate when Arctic sea ice tipping points last occurred.
This project will produce a detailed analysis of the evolution of deep ocean radiocarbon ‘ventilation’ across a suite of Heinrich events that preceded the LGM, thus providing a first insight into marine radiocarbon cycling across episode of abrupt change, and leading up to peak glacial conditions, with implications for the closure of the ocean-atmosphere radiocarbon (and carbon) budgets across the last glacial cycle.
This project seeks to develop and apply novel oxygenation proxies, e.g. based on Rare Earth Elements (REE) and uranium, with the ultimate aim of understanding, and potentially to quantify, past changes in deep ocean carbon storage associated with global climate change.
Using novel high-resolution sedimentological, mineralogical and geochemical analyses of super-flood deposits recovered from the James Bay Lowlands to assess the timing, duration and hydraulics of the massive deluge that accompanied the final disintegration of the Laurentide ice sheet, and that may have triggered the ‘8.2 kyr cold-event’ via the perturbation of the North Atlantic ocean circulation.
How are reactive halogens and nitrogen cycled through polar snowpacks and what can they tell us about the oxidation capacity of the atmosphere?
Using new laser spectrometers the student will explore how the production and consumption of methane changes under different agriculture management practices.