"Water management for sustainable use and protection of peatlands"


Peatlands cover large areas of northern Europe and are important for water quality and regulation of river flow. Peatlands require careful land and water management to reduce a range of negative impacts on water resources and ecosystem services. However, lack of knowledge on land and water management is a key issue in peatland management, which hampers sound decision-making. Unknown issues are:

  • how does peatland drainage and use effect hydrology and water quality at field and catchment scale? How can leaching and other negative impacts be limited by water table management, water retention, land conservation and different water treatment options to reduce downstream effects?
  • which peatland areas should be protected from drainage and intensive land use, and which can be used with limited environmental impacts?
  • what type of water pollution control structures (e.g. constructed wetlands, peak runoff control) and other measures are best suited considering their costs and effectiveness?
  • how can land and water management be combined in a sustainable way to limit impact of water for human consumption and the other environmental impacts? How can new technologies be best applied to protect surface water resources?

This project will improve our knowledge on peatland hydrological and geochemical processes, develop and test methods to reduce leaching and other negative impacts that occur after peatland drainage, and disseminate the knowledge gained to stakeholders.


Applicants should have a good primary degree (First or Second Class Honours) or M.Sc. in an appropriate discipline (Geography, Environmental Science, Civil/Environmental Engineering, etc.). The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated and be prepared for laboratory work and extended periods of field work with modern analytical equipment. Evidence (scanned document) of a full driving licence is required. Applications without this will not be considered.


The PhD Fellowship is part of a larger EU-funded Water JPI project, led by the University of Oulu. The student will be based at NUI Galway under the supervision of Drs. Mark Healy and Oisín Callery. The Fellowship will start as soon as possible after the most suitable candidate is selected.

The fellowship provides a stipend of €22,750. University fees are paid by the student from the stipend which is tenable for 3 years.

Further Information/Applications

Prof Mark Healy, Civil Engineering, NUI Galway.
Phone +353 (0)91 4953647. email: mark.healy@nuigalway.ie

Dr Oisín Callery, Earth and Ocean Sciences, NUI Galway
Phone +353 (0)91 495157 email: oisin.callery@nuigalway.ie

Application Procedure

Submit an electronic copy of Curriculum Vitae and a letter of interest simultaneously to: Prof Mark Healy (mark.healy@nuigalway.ie) and Dr Oisín Callery (oisin.callery@nuigalway.ie)

Closing date 26 July, 2019.

posted: 28 June 2019     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.