PhD Projects

All Physical Science PhD Projects offered for 2014 entry

Please apply using the link 'Apply - On-line' next to the project you are interested in. The link will take you to the University's online application system (EUCLID) at the page: 'Course and degree finder'. There is information on the research area your chosen project is part of. On this page, go to the 'Apply for this degree' box on the right hand side and under PhD (Full-time), select September 2014 (or your intended month of start) from the drop-down box before clicking 'Apply'.


Project Title linked to further information
List of Supervisors with some links to Supervisor Information
Status & Funding Apply
**FULLY FUNDED** Super-Seismic Resolution
Prof. Andrew Curtis (University of Edinburgh), Dr. Mohammad Shahraeeni & Pierre Thore (Total plc)
Available On-Line
**FULLY FUNDED**Impacts of climate change and emissions on atmospheric composition and air pollution. Fully-funded NERC Industrial CASE studentship with the UK Met Office, Hadley Centre
Dr. Ruth Doherty (GeoSciences), Dr. Mat Heal (Chemistry), Dr. Fiona O'Connor, Dr. Gerd Folberth (UK Met Office/Hadley Centre)
Available On-Line
**FULLY FUNDED** A natural experimental approach to human vulnerability, resilience and adaptation in historic Greenland
Andy Dugmore (UoE), Richard Essery (UoE), Mark Rounsevell (UoE), Jette Arneborg (National Museum of Denmark) and Felix Riede (Department of Culture and Society)
Available On-Line
**FULLY FUNDED**studentship for 3.5 years by GeoSciences and Forest Research** Impacts of nitrogen deposition on the forest carbon and nitrogen cycle
Dr. Kate Heal and Prof. Maurizio Mencuccini (School of GeoSciences University of Edinburgh) Dr. Nadeem Shah (Forest Research Northern Research Station)
Available On-Line
**FULLY FUNDED**Oxidant chemistry over Chinese Megacities and their impact on larger spatial scales
Prof. Paul Palmer, Tzung-May Fu (Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Peking University
Available On-Line
**FULLY FUNDED**Use of porous sedimentary rocks for energy storage
Mark Wilkinson, Zoe Shipton (Strathclyde) and Dimitri Mingard (Engineering)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Evolution of Himalayan catchments in response to tectonics
Dr. Mikael Attal, Dr. Rachel Walcott (National Museums Scotland), Prof. Hugh Sinclair and Dr. Mark Naylor
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Subsurface Imaging using UKArray, Virtual Sources and Probabilistic Tomography
Dr. Brian Baptie (British Geological Survey, Prof. Andrew Curtis (University of Edinburgh)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Application of a Multi-Level Perspective on climate change mitigation and adaptation: the case of cocoa in Ghana
Dr. Andrew Barnes (SRUC) Dr. Heather Lovell (School of GeoSciences, Univ. of Edinburgh) Dr. Laurens Klerx (Wageningen University)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Constraining ice, ocean and climate interaction in the Bellingshausen Sea sector of West Antarctica
Dr. Robert Bingham, Dr. Noel Gourmelen, Prof. Simon Tett, Dr. Hamish Pritchard (British Antarctic Survey)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Climate Impact of European Anthropogenic Aerosols in the early Instrumental Period
Dr. Massimo A. Bollasina, Prof. Gabriele Hegerl (University of Edinburgh)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Copper mineralisation:stable isotope fractionation in the Cu-Fe-S system CASE Funded BGS
Dr. Ian Butler (University of Edinburgh, School of Geosciences), Matthew Horstwood. (NIGL, British Geological Survey), Adrian Boyce. (SUERC, East Kilbride), Paul Lusty. (BGS).
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Modelling volcanic granular flows:Particle dynamics and emergent structure of pyroclastic density currents.
Dr. Eliza Calder (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences) Dr. Jin Sun & Dr. Mark Naylor (University of Edinburgh)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Microbial processes inside glaciers: Implications for biogeochemistry and climate change
Prof. Charles Cockell (UoE Physics and Astronomy), Prof. Andy Dugmore and Dr. Anthony Newton (UoE GeoSciences)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Understanding the role of Scottish rivers in the global carbon cycle: Sources and reactivities of organic matter in Scottish lakes and streams
Dr. Gregory Cowie, Dr. Walter Geibert (University of Edinburgh School of Geosciences) Dr. Richard Keil (University of Washington, Seattle WA USA)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Inflow, overflow and runoff to the Nordic Seas: Circulation dynamics in the Faroe-Shetland Channel over the last glacial cycle
Dr. Kirsty Crocket, Dr. John Howe and William Austin (SAMS), Dr. Alex Thomas (School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Squeezing the sponge: the role of serpentinites in subduction zones
Dr. Cees-Jan De Hoog, Dr. Geoff Bromiley and Dr. Linda Kirstein (Edinburgh University School of GeoSciences)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Evolutionary adaptation along altitudinal gradients in South eastern Peru
Dr. Kyle Dexter and Prof. Patrick Meir (School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh) Miles Silman (Wake Forest University)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Volcanic ash layers, landscape and people: Developing novel measures of land surface resilience from tephra deposits
Prof. Andrew Dugmore, Dr. Anthony Newton (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences) Dr. Richard Streeter (School of Geography and Geology, Univ. of St Andrews)
Available On-Line
A natural experimental approach to human vulnerability, resilience and adaptation in historic Greenland
Andy Dugmore (UoE), Richard Essery (UoE), Mark Rounsevell (UoE), Jette Arneborg (National Museum of Denmark) and Felix Riede (Department of Culture and Society)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Oilseed rape and pollinators: the impact of variety on resource availability and pollination resilience
Dr. Andy Evans (SRUC), Dr. Gail Jackson (School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh), Dr. Lorna Cole (SRUC)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Synkinematic porosity evolution during shear zone propagation
Dr. Florian Fusseis, Prof. Simon Harley (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Integrated geochemical and structural investigation into the controls of natural CO2 storage and leakage in the Otway Basin, Australia
Dr. S. Gilfillan, Dr. G. Johnson, (University of Edinburgh), Fin Stuart, SUERC and Max Watson, CO2CRC, (University of Melbourne)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Quantifying ice sheet uncertainty from observations using inverse methods
Dr. Daniel Goldberg, Dr. James R. Maddison (School of Mathematics), Dr. Patrick Farrell (Mathematical Institute, Univ. of Oxford), Dr. Nick Hulton 3
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** CHROMATICS - Chromium speciation, transport and fate in Clyde catchment soils, sediments and waters: understanding Cr mobility in urban-industrial environments
Dr. MC Graham, Dr. BT Ngwenya, Dr. B Palumbo-Roe (British Geological Survey, Nottingham) and Ms. FM Fordyce (British Geological Survey, Edinburgh)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Lithium in cordierite: Anatexis,fluid-rock interactions and the Li isotope composition of continental crust
Prof. Simon Harley, Dr. Cees-Jan de Hoog (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Are oilfields geochemically special? An examination of porosity and mass-transfer
Prof. R.Stuart Haszeldine, Dr. Mark Wilkinson Prof. Rachel Wood (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences) Dr. J P Girard (Total Research Centre, Pau, France) Dr. Peter Gutteridge (Cambridge Carbonates, Derbyshire, England)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Can enough CO2 be stored to avoid dangerous climate change?
Prof. Stuart Haszeldine, Prof. Simon Tett, Dr. Vivian Scott (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Influence of regional processes and forcings on changing temperature extremes
Prof. Gabriele Hegerl, Dr. Massimo A. Bollasina (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Causes of regional climate variability over the last millennium
Prof. Gabriele Hegerl, Dr. Rob Wilson, Dr. Andrew Schurer (St Andrews/Edinburgh)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Investigating the timing, extent and significance of Quaternary glaciations in Patagonia
Dr. Andrew Hein and Dr. Nicholas Hulton (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Characterisation of subglacial hydrology in Svalbard using ground-based radar
Dr. Nick Hulton, Dr. Antonis Giannopoulos (School of Engineering), Prof. Andrew Curtis
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** The effect of episodic drought stress on cereal aphid populations
Dr. Gail Jackson, (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences, Dr. Andy Evans (SRUC)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Fluid and the enrichment of Rare Earth Element-bearing Earth materials
Dr. Linda Kirstein, Dr. Geoff Bromiley (Edinburgh Geosciences, CSEC) Rachel Walcott (Natural Museums Scotland); Andrew Walker (Leeds)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Unravelling climate and tectonic changes in the sediment record using the Jáchal region, South Central Andes as a natural laboratory
Dr. Linda Kirstein, Dr. Mikael Attal, (University of Edinburgh) Fin Stuart (SUERC), Alex Whittaker (Imperial College London)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Exploring thermodynamic properties of Earth's core-forming materials
Dr. Tetsuya Komabayashi, Dr. Geoff Bromiley, (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Forecasting eruptions in volcano-tectonic regions: the role of earthquake clustering
Prof. Ian Main, Dr. Andrew Bell and Dr. Mark Naylor (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Scale-model seismology:Forecasting failure in real time in the laboratory
Prof. Ian Main, Dr. Andrew Bell, Dr. Mark Naylor, Dr. Ian Butler (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences) and Dr. Caroline Graham (BGS Transport Properties Research Laboratory, Keyworth
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Sustainable algal biorefinery - a whole systems approach Algal systems for nutrient management, biofuels, green chemicals, and carbon sequestration
Dr. OndÅ™ej Ma¨ek,(University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences) Dr. Michele Stanley (SAMS) Dr. Blanca-Antizar Ladislao (University of Edinburgh, Engineering), John Day (SAMS)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Modelling Geothermal Heat Extraction from Abandoned Mine Workings and Associated Ground Stability Issues. CASE funded by Quintessa Ltd & AECOM
Dr. C.I.McDermott, Prof. Dr. R.S.Haszeldine,(University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences) Dr. A. Bond,(Quintessa Ltd.) A. Harber, (Principal Engineer, Energy, AECOM) and Dr. S.D.G. Campbell (BGS)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** "Are there predictable global patterns of microbial diversity and function in tropical soils?"
Prof. Patrick Meir,(University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences) Dr. Jeanette Whitaker NERC-CEH
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Novel species-level biome mapping to improve aboveground biomass estimates for South America
Dr. Ed Mitchard, Prof. Patrick Meir, (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences) Caroline Lehmann (RGBE), Dr. Tiina Sarkinen (RBGE)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Landscape-scale airborne trace gas flux measurements of N2O, CH4 and CO2 by eddy accumulation and conditional eddy covariance
Prof. John Moncrieff , Prof. Mathew Williams , Tom Wade , Dr. Robert Clement (University of Edinburgh School of Geosciences),Dr. Lukas Siebicke, Dr. James Morison ( Centre for Sustainable Forestry & Climate Change, Forest Research)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Linking ecosystem services and human wellbeing in Scotland
Prof. Dominic Moran (SRUC, Land Economy & Environment Research Group), Dr. Antonio Ioris (School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Coastal Sediment Supply and the Life and Death of Salt Marshes
Dr. Simon Mudd, Dr. Mikael Attal (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences)and Dr. Andrea Dalpaos (University of Padova, Italy)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Detecting bedrock channel incision processes using topographic data
Dr. Simon Mudd, Dr. Mikael Attal (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Influence of erosion on clay production and CO2 drawdown
Dr. Simon Mudd and Prof. Hugh Sinclair (Edinburgh University School of GeoSciences)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Earthquake forecasting: Seismic source zonation using modern statistical methods
Dr. Mark Naylor, Prof. Ian Main (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences) Janine Illian (School of Math. & Stats., U. of St. Andrews) , David Bolin (Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics, Umea University, Sweden) & Roger Musson (BGS
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Refining UK anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases using new atmospheric measurements of their isotopes
Prof. Paul Palmer (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Using models of the Earth system to develop bio-signatures for identifying habitable exoplanets
Prof. Paul Palmer, Dr. Beth Biller and Prof. Charles Cockell (University of Edinburgh)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Fossil insects, Holocene climate change and the evolution of subsistence patterns in Lapland
Dr. Eva Panagiotakopulu, Stephen J Brooks (Natural History Museum, London), Dr. Graham Rotheray (National Museums Scotland), Prof. Hans Peter Blankholm (University of Tromsø, Norway), Dr. Kjell-Åke Aronsson (Ájtte Swedish Mountain and Sami Museum Muse
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Afforestation GHG balance for N-fixing trees: a positive land use benefit?
Dr. Mike Perks, Dr. Georgios Xenakis and Niall McNamara (Forest Research) Dr. Julia Drewer (CEH) & Prof. Maurizio Mencuccini (School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** The importance of soil organic carbon in controlling nitrous oxide emissions from soils
Prof. Bob Rees (SRUC Edinburgh) Dr. Gary Lanigan (Teagasc Ireland) Dr. Allan Lilly (James Hutton Institute Aberdeen) Dr. David Reay (School of GeoSciences The University of Edinburgh)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Eruption rates and residence times of mid-ocean ridge volcanism.
Dr. Kate Saunders (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences),Bramley Murton (National Oceanography Centre, Southampton), Prof. Godfrey Fitton (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Controls on the rivers of the Gangetic Foreland Basin, N. India: implications for the stratigraphic record and future flood hazard
Prof. Hugh Sinclair, Dr. Mikael Attal, Dr. Mark Naylor, Vimal Singh (Delhi University); John Armitage (Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Sedimentological reconstruction of extreme events in the western Himalaya
Prof. Hugh Sinclair, Dr. Simon Mudd, Dr. Massimo Bollasina (University of Edinburgh), Vimal Singh (Delhi University) Dave Sanderson (SUERC)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** What has driven the increase in atmospheric methane concentrations since 1750?
Prof. David Stevenson (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences) Fiona O'Connor (Met Office Hadley Centre)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Producing Climate Models that are Consistent with Observations
Prof. Simon Tett (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences) Dr. Coralia Cartis (Mathematical Institute and Balliol College, University of Oxford)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Investigating controls on mortality and accumulation at Mingulay Reef cold water coral habitat
Dr. Alex Thomas (School of Geosciences), Prof. Murray Roberts (School of Life Sciences, Heriot Watt University), Dr. Kirsty Crocket ( Scottish Association for Marine Science), Oban), Dr. Melanie Douarin (Universitié de Nantes), Dr. John Howe ( Scottish As
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Higher-frequency fluid dynamics and pelagic sediment records in the deep-sea
Robert Turnewitsch (SAMS) Dr. Walter Geibert (University of Edinburgh)Dmitry Aleynik (SAMS), Prof. Jacques Vanneste (University of Edinburgh)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Spherical Slepian function modelling of the magnetic field to probe the outer core CASE Funded BGS
Prof. Kathy Whaler (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences) Dr. Tetsuya Komabayashi (School of GeoSciences) and Ciaran Beggan (BGS)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Separating magnetic field sources using the Swarm satellite constellation CASE Partner BGS
Prof. Kathy Whaler (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences), Susan Macmillan and Ciaran Beggan (BGS)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Sources of variability in suppression of soil N2O emissions by biochar in global agricultural soils
Dr Jeanette Whitaker (NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Lancaster), Dr David Reay (School of Geosciences University of Edinburgh) Dr Niall McNamara (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Lancaster) Dr Christian Davies (Shell International Exploration a
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Arctic tipping points for global change: how will shifts in climate and nutrient cycling restructure tundra ecosystems?
Prof. Mathew Williams, Dr. Isla Myers-Smith (University of Edinburgh)
Available On-Line
Ecosystem-atmosphere interactions in Arctic catchments
Professor Mathew Williams, (University of Edinburgh) and Professor Torben Røjle Christensen, (Aarhus University)
Available On-Line
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Ecological and economic thresholds in Essential Fatty Acid (EFA) production: Implications for the Scottish aquaculture industry, food security and public health
Dr. A.M. Wilson (School of Geosciences, Univ. of Edinburgh), Dr. C. Revoredo-Giha and Dr. J.A. Carfrae, (Land Economy and Environment Research Group, Scotland's Rural College), Dr. T. O'Higgins and Dr. A.D. Hughes (The Scottish Association for
Available On-Line
**FULLY FUNDED** Modelling the global nitrogen cycle
David Stevenson, David Fowler, Mark Sutton and Mat Heal
Allocated  
Modelling Complex Social Systems in the Context of Coastal Ecosystem Services & Resource Management
Dr. Andrew Barnes and Dr Dominic Moran (SRUC) and Dr. Meriwether Wilson (School of GeoSciences University of Edinburgh)
Allocated  
Non-local climate footprint of Asian anthropogenic aerosols
Dr. Massimo A. Bollasina and Prof. Simon Tett (University of Edinburgh)
Allocated  
A new tool for determining oxidation state of the interiors of Earth, Moon and Mars
Dr.Geoff Bromiley, Dr. Andrew Miles (Kingston University) Dr Paul Attfield (CSEC and School of Chemistry)
Allocated  
The origin and early evolution of crocodylomorphs: evidence from the exceptional Triassic-Jurassic fissure fills of England and Wales CASE Partner(National Museums Scotland)
Dr. Stephen Brusatte (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences) Dr. Nicholas Fraser, (National Museums Scotland) Dr. Richard Butler (University of Birmingham) and Dr Sterling Nesbitt (Virginia Tech University, USA)
Allocated  
Eruption dynamics of cyclic vulcanian explosions from Galeras volcano, Colombia.
Dr. Eliza Calder, Dr. Joaquín Cortés,(University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences) Dr. Susan Loughlin (BGS) & Dr. Gloria Cortés (The Geological Survey of Colombia)
Allocated  
Blue Build & Biosecurity
Dr. E. J. Cook (SAMS),Dr Meriwether Wilson (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences)
Allocated  
Impacts of linear disturbances on boreal forest micrometeorology
Dr. Richard Essery, Dr. Genevieve Patenaude (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences)
Allocated  
**NERC E3 Competitive Funding** Reconstructing the Biological C Pump in the Southern Ocean During the Last Deglaciation
Dr. Raja Ganeshram,(University of Edinburgh) Dr. Laetitia Pichevin and Dr. Robert Turnewitsch (Scottish Association for Marine Science, Oban)
Allocated  
Runoff generation, flowpaths and flooding in the changing environment of upland UK
Dr. Kate Heal, Prof. Alan MacDonald (British Geological Survey) Dr. Andrew Black and Dr. Tom Ball (University of Dundee)
Allocated  
Big cat biogeography and climate change
Dr. Andrew Kitchener (National Museums Scotland),Prof. Andrew Dugmore (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences)
Allocated  
Inbreeding and infidelity in an Australian passerine bird
Prof. Loeske Kruuk (University of Edinburgh) and Prof. Andrew Cockburn (Australian National University)
Allocated  
The economic value of farm animal genetic resource (FAnGR) conservation in the UK, Brazil and Malawi
Professor Dominic Moran (SRUC, Land Economy & Environment Research Group) Dr Antonio Ioris ( University of Edinburgh School of Geosciences)
Allocated  
Climate change as a driver of Arctic tundra shrub expansion
Dr. Isla Myers - Smith, Prof. Mat Williams (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences)
Allocated  
Evolutionary epidemiology of Phytophthora austrocedrae on juniper in northern Britain CASE PARTNER: Forestry Commission
Paul M. Sharp, (Institute of Evolutionary Biology, University of Edinburgh) Sarah Green, (Forest Research, Northern Research Station, Roslin)
Allocated  
Assessing ecological resilience to human induced environmental change in shallow lakes
Dr. Bryan Spears CEH (Edinburgh) Dr. Kate Heal (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences)
Allocated  
Tropical rainforests and the global carbon cycle - adaptation and acclimation to changing climate across continents
Prof. Mathew Williams, Prof. Patrick Meir (University of Edinburgh)
Allocated  
Triggering the Cambrian Explosion: Carbon Cycle reorganisation and the rise of Metazoans
Prof. Rachel Wood (University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences),Simone Kasemann (University of Bremen, Germany) Dr. Alex Thomas (GeoSciences)
Allocated  

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