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Cambridge NERC Doctoral Landscape Awards (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.

Lightning strikes produce highly reactive nitrogen oxide (NO) which has the potential to alter the global ozone budget and its radiative forcing: this work will investigate the representation of lightning in the UK Earth System Model (UKESM) and its impact on current and future climate.
This project will develop and apply novel mathematical techniques to more accurately determine changes within ice sheets and the oceans from available observations.
The marine sulfur cycle is an exemplar of a climatically important biogeochemical cycle within the Earth system. But it is subject to significant uncertainties, uncertainties that can be constrained and reduced through this projects combination of numerical modelling and field work.
Use and develop a numerical model to investigate the evolution and impacts of surface lakes on George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctica
This project will use physically-informed data-driven methods to construct improved parameterizations for the transport of heat in the world's oceans, a key, and still poorly-understood, component of the changing global climate system.
This project will use ocean observations and machine learning methods to explore how anthropogenic carbon is redistributed across the ocean by different water masses
This project will use radiocarbon observations and inverse methods to reveal how the past ocean circulation, different from present day, affected the global carbon cycle
This project will use state-of-the-art remote sensing and machine learning techniques to produce a continent-wide 3D dataset of surface and shallow sub-surface meltwater on Antarctic ice shelves, before routing this meltwater across potential flow pathways. Image reference: Meltwater systems on the Nivlisen Ice Shelf in January 2020. Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2020), processed by Dr Rebecca Dell.
This project will assess the role of marine biogenic emissions in new particle formation and growth observed on a coastal site in Namibia.
Landscape regeneration using Nature-based Solutions has the potential to provide socio-economic and climate change benefits; these solutions can impact GHG fluxes and hence actualisation of UK net zero commitments.
This project will assess the use of biogenic organic markers in Antarctic ice cores to reconstruct past changes in the marine and terrestrial biosphere.
The project will quantify and analyse biases and uncertainties of climate models in their representation of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO).
To develop a space weather and climate model of radiation affecting satellites in low earth orbit and assess the likelihood of satellite anomalies.
Build the first tephrostratigraphy for the North Sea region, to date sea-level rise and vegetation change during the Last Interglacial.
This project will use laboratory experiments and modelling to quantify the changing patterns of turbulent mixing between water masses in a rapidly warming Arctic Ocean, which are crucial in shaping the future climate of the Northern Hemisphere.
This project aims to develop a dynamic statistical model to improve understanding of the impact of extreme weather events on health service demand in two targeted regions of India and the UK, which will be used to develop an early warning system to enable the timely scheduling of preventive strategies to alleviate weather-induced healthcare strain.
Ocean seafloor can help shape patterns of turbulence in the top layer of the ocean, responsible for the exchange of heat and carbon between the atmosphere and ocean.
This project studies the change in global patterns of small-scale ocean turbulence due to climate change and the feedback of such change onto the climate system.
The climate change-induced destabilization of polar regions has global impacts, by altering the circulations of the ocean and atmosphere, sea-level rise, and the worldwide heat and carbon budgets. This project uses observations and modelling to investigate disruptions to ocean circulation due to the rapid changes in the polar climates.
Why do ozone fluctuations act as an artificial pacemaker to the beating heart of the atmosphere?
The “Automatic Bayesian Climate Scientist” project aims to develop novel interpretable Machine Learning methods that empower climate scientists to uncover deep insights into intricate physical systems from measurement data.
The Eocene, 55 to 34 million years ago, was a time of great climatic change with global temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide both reducing. Ocean circulation was greatly altered by the tectonic rearrangement of the continents. This project will investigate the role of vertical mixing in the ocean over this time frame and how it affected ocean carbon storage.
Using laboratory and computational techniques, this project will extend the AMOC record to better constrain its vertical structure and variability in response to climate change.
This project aims to automate and improve the detection of environmental features in Arctic marine sediments using imaging techniques to unlock their full scientific potential in climate research
Using a multidisciplinary approach, the student will develop and test a new geochronometer to establish precise timescales for paleoceanographic records. This will be achieved by reconstructing and synchronizing solar-modulated variations in cosmogenic 10Be from ice cores and marine sediments spanning the last 50,000 years.
This project aims to assess the stability of Antarctic grounding zones – where the ice sheet meets the ocean and transitions to a floating ice shelf - by comparing simplified models of subglacial hydrology and sediment transport to modern and paleo-reconstructions of the grounding zone to assess future stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
This project will use satellite imagery, high-resolution atmospheric model simulations, and atmospheric reanalysis datasets to investigate the vulnerability of Antarctic ice shelves to surface melting induced by extreme weather events, which can increase the likelihood of their collapse.
This project will reconstruct Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) and global temperature change during the Last Interglacial warm period (ca. 127-119 thousand years before present) to better understand the GrIS’s long-term response to warming and its contributions to past and future sea level rise.
Newly compiled climate proxy measurements will be combined with climate insights from general circulation models using physics-based “statistical learning” methods to reconstruct targeted intervals of the recent geologic past and refine projections of future climate.
Mapping the effects of wildfire on forest carbon storage using remote sensing and field-based surveys in northern coniferous forests.
The project will leverage fieldwork and lab analyses of ecosystem carbon in a range of grasslands spanning Africa, South America, and North America, to estimate the conditions under which grasslands may serve as net-carbon sinks.
Disruption of ocean circulation by meltwater forcing is of great climatic importance, and also provides a natural laboratory to study marine geochemical cycling.
Using a combination of earth system modelling and ice core data we will study feedbacks between the global methane cycle and climate.
The Last Interglacial (LIG) period is probably the last time the Arctic experienced ice free summers, and a 4C warming. Until recently our climate models captured neither this warmth, nor the sea ice loss, nor the necessary feedbacks which drove this Arctic amplification of warmth. The project aims to resolve the drivers of Arctic Amplification.
This project aims to develop the use of habitat biases that are inherent in foraminifer-based proxies to investigate the impacts of past abrupt climate change on detailed aspects of the North Atlantic hydroclimate system, such as water column structure, seasonality and interannual climate variability. Such reconstructions may provide a more direct basis for comparison with climate model outputs and have the potential to inform on aspects of the climate system that are of more direct relevance to society and ecosystems alike.
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.
This project will use high resolution numerical simulations to explore the physical processes that contribute to the formation and sinking of marine snow particles in the surface ocean.
Most estimates of carbon consumption through weathering assume the conservative behaviour of cations in solution. We can now correct for the non-conservative behaviour of cations to make better estimates of the carbon cycle.
Enhanced chemical weathering is proposed as a way to help remove CO2 from the atmosphere. The process needs to be optimised and verified.
Chemical weathering is thought to regulate climate on long time-scales; terrestrial sediments provide a largely untapped record of this through time.
Stable isotopes ratios of key metals will help inform the enigmatic formation of carbonate minerals, our key archive of planetary history.
This project will use cutting-edge analytical and experimental techniques to test a central hypothesis related to the evolution of life on Earth.
Leveraging satellite-derived surface velocity data sets, modelled runoff, and calculations of lake drainage volumes to investigate hydrological controls on the flow of the Greenland Ice Sheet.
Developing classification and machine learning algorithms to map glacier surface ponds and their seasonal and annual changes from satellite imagery and in-situ data sets across High Mountain Asia.
How are reactive bromine and nitrogen cycled at the snow-atmosphere interface and what are their impacts on polar atmospheric oxidation capacity?
Current climate models are missing an important source of sea salt aerosol that could have a significant impact on the polar climate in the future.
This PhD project will tackle the issue of GLOF risk by retrospectively analysing key case studies, establishing a conceptual model for lateral moraine failure, and using novel remote sensing to identify and prioritize hazard-prone glacial lakes across the Himalaya.