PhD in Marine Blue Carbon Biogeochemistry in DCU

Project title: Extent, source and fate of blue carbon in Irelands coastal areas.
Supervisor: Dr Brian Kelleher
Project advisors: Mark Coughlan (UCD), Markus Diesing (NGU), John O'Sullivan (UCD),

Project description: Ireland's expansive marine resource has the potential to sequester and store significant amounts of carbon in seafloor sediments and the habitats they support. However, there is a paucity of data and information on the past and present stock of carbon in these environments. Moreover, Ireland's seabed is coming under increased pressure through anthropogenic impacts, such as the development of offshore renewable energy, trawling and dredging, in addition to climate change effects. To fully understand, and effectively manage, the seabed in terms of maximising this Blue Carbon potential requires a thorough understanding of carbon cycling in the marine environment over time, physical processes at the seafloor and high-quality spatial mapping. The Quest Project is a collaborative partnership between University College Dublin (UCD), Dublin City University (DCU) and the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU) and comprises experienced and skilled researchers in these areas who will conduct a multidisciplinary programme of research to qualify and quantify stocks of carbon in Irish marine sediments, examine and characterise threats to Blue Carbon in these settings and support the development of long-term management strategies. This programme will comprise spatial predictive modelling along with offshore surveying and sampling, laboratory analysis and hydrodynamic modelling to deliver comprehensive geochemical, geological, geotechnical, environmental and morphodynamic assessments of Blue Carbon 'hotspots' in the Irish offshore, as identified in the National Marine Planning Framework. The outcomes of the Quest Project will form critical baseline data and the basis for expert advice to help inform evidence-based policy with regard to effective management strategies for the sustainable use and protection of Blue Carbon resources in Ireland. This will include supporting the designation of Marine Protected Areas and facilitate the delivery of the Government's Climate Action Plan. The Quest Project also intends to engage with stakeholders and the public to achieve a better understanding of Blue Carbon across society, and to raise the visibility of such research at a national and EU level.

Position Description: This four-year full-time PhD position is part of the Marine Institute funded 'Quest' project (Quantification, characterisation, source and fate of past and present carbon storage in coastal and offshore sediments for effective marine management) into Blue Carbon. The Candidate will work as part of a multi-disciplinary team and will be responsible for:

  • The chemical and physical characterisation of carbon in marine sediments that will include analysis by GC-MS and NMR to investigate the extent, source and fate of marine carbon in Irish coastal sediment.
  • Equipment/instrument maintenance (including assistance within coastal data buoy),
  • Work with colleagues to undertake GIS based analysis of marine spatial datasets

The successful candidate will be registered at Dublin City University, starting at the beginning of September 2022. The stipend is €18,500 per annum. The candidate will also be required to contribute approximately 100 hours per annum demonstrating undergraduate laboratory classes and / or tutorials.

Candidate Experience: The candidate should have a minimum 2.1 in an Honours Bachelor's degree in Geoscience, Earth Science, environmental chemistry or an equivalent. Experience in the maintenance of equipment and off-shore activities would be an advantage.

Application: Please e-mail a CV (2-page preferable) and a cover letter outlining your experience and motivation to Dr. Brian Kelleher ( Closing date for application is 28 April 2022.

posted: 29 March 2022 Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.