PhD Project: Testing models of relative sea-level change: a marine geophysical perspective
Supervisor: Dr Robin Edwards, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.
Applications are invited for a four year PhD position in the School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, funded by Science Foundation Ireland.
This PhD project will seek to address the fundamental question of whether the current generation of glacial rebound models (GRM) are capable of accurately simulating the rate and magnitude of relative sea-level (RSL) change that occurs in ice marginal (near-field) contexts when ice sheets are undergoing rapid melting.
This research question will be addressed by examining the nature of RSL change associated with the disintegration of the British-Irish ice sheet at the end of the last glacial period. This region is uniquely positioned to provide critical constraints on GRM parameters and is a major focus for agenda-setting international research in sea level modelling. Despite its central importance, the nature of RSL change around the Irish coastline is contested and the subject of current debate in the international literature. The latest model simulations are incompatible with some field-based reconstructions, indicating that either (or both) are associated with significant error. Progress in resolving this debate has been slow due, in part, to the tendency for views to be polarised according to methodological and disciplinerelated divisions.
This PhD will seek to address this issue by the novel combination and integration of data and approaches from across this methodological divide. Its multi-disciplinary approach will employ a combination of GRM and ground-truthed high resolution marine acoustic surveys to test an explicit hypothesis that arises from the mutually exclusive patterns of RSL change that characterise the current debate.
The student will use recently acquired high-resolution multi-beam bathymetric data and groundtruthed, geo-coded backscatter data, in conjunction with existing topographic and seismostratigraphic data, and targeted seafloor sediment sampling, to examine the inner-shelf morphology adjacent to the north coast of Ireland.
The PhD project will be based at Trinity College Dublin which is one of the top 50 universities in the world and was ranked 13th in Europe by the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) university league tables. The student will also have the opportunity to collaborate with, and receive training from, a team of international scientists based in Ireland, the UK and Canada, including Dr Glenn Milne (Ottawa) & Dr Rory Quinn (Centre for Maritime Archaeology, Ulster).
Due to the multi-disciplinary nature of this project, candidates with broad backgrounds in Earth or Ocean Science, Physical Geography or a related subject are welcome to apply. Candidates should have a first or upper second class honours degree and applicants with a relevant MSc or MRes are particularly encouraged to apply. Whilst training will be provided, prior experience in processing marine geophysical data and/or working with marine sediments (sedimentology/micropalaeontology) would be beneficial. The starting salary will be in the region of €20 000 per year.
Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Robin Edwards (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Applicants should submit a covering letter and Curriculum vitae along with the names and contact details of two academic referees to the address below before Friday 17th July 2009.
Completed applications should be sent to: Dr Robin Edwards, School of Natural Sciences, Museum Building, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Republic of Ireland. (Email: email@example.com)
Centre for Maritime Archaeology
School of Environmental Sciences
University of Ulster
Coleraine bt52 1sa