Professor Jan Kaiser (School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia)
Dr Vassilis Kitidis (Plymouth Marine Laboratory)
Approximately 40 % of methane (CH4) and 60 % of nitrous oxide (N2O) come from natural sources which include soils, rivers, estuaries and oceans. Both are potent greenhouse gases, which also affect stratospheric ozone depletion (N2O) and the oxidative capacity of the atmosphere (CH4). Despite the importance of these two gases the understanding and quantification of sources and sinks and the transport from river catchments to coastal waters is poorly constrained.
This project is joint between Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), Environmental Sciences at UEA and the CASE partner, SERCON Ltd. The majority of your time will be at PML with easy access to the River Tamar catchment and coastal waters of the English channel. You will use state of the art instrumentation to determine gas concentrations and the stable isotopic signatures of N2O (15N/14N, 18O/16O) and CH4 (13C/12C). A vision to drive the research direction and a sense of adventure are both required to deliver a programme, which will study streams and rivers, estuaries and coastal waters using small boats and larger research vessels. You will perform high precision analyses and will develop methodology to improve our understanding of the complex biological, chemical and physical transformations taking place.
You will receive specialist training in the measurement of stable isotopes of nitrogen, oxygen and carbon using continuous flow stable isotope mass spectrometry and in the use of gas chromatography and cavity ring down spectroscopy to determine gas concentrations. This will be coupled to generic training in the biogeochemistry of riverine, estuarine and coastal systems. You will be given training in professional skills, including attendance at an international summer school and an international conference.
This studentship will be based at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, and registered at the University of East Anglia.
We seek an enthusiastic, self-motivated candidate, with a strong aptitude for the use of analytical instrumentation. Fieldwork is central to the delivery of this studentship and you will be expected to work on land and boat-based expeditions for which you will need to take sea survival training and obtain certification of medical wellbeing. You will have at degree in chemistry, physics, oceanography or a suitable branch of environmental sciences.