4-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship
'Instability and Pollution Potential Mapping of Irish Shipwreck Sites for a National Risk Assessment Database (I-PoINt)'

Earth and Ocean Lab, Department of Geography, University College Cork

The Earth and Ocean Lab, at the Department of Geography, University College Cork wishes to appoint a Post-Doctoral researcher to undertake the I-POINT project. Shipwrecks are anthropogenically derived seafloor features with important cultural heritage that may form biodiversity 'hotspots' in otherwise barren parts of the seabed. In recent times, their presence has typically been considered a hazard to trade and navigation (shipping routes), energy (renewable energy development) and marine resources (trawling). However, a relatively lesser studied hazard is the pollution potential of shipwrecks given their composition, cargo and long-term exposure to the marine environment that can up-concentrate shipwreck-derived pollutants akin to placer deposits. The I-POINT project is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional research project that: i) identifies, maps and ranks the distribution of polluting shipwrecks around Ireland, and; ii) quantifies the impacts of the most intensely polluting shipwrecks. To do this, we propose a data-driven assessment of online archives, historical records, peer-reviewed literature using a Python-based automatic web-scraping method. Subsequent machine-learning analysis will rank shipwrecks pollution potential, their pollutants and distribution. A follow up multisensory survey will map the most intensely polluting wrecks (multibeam, magnetometry, side scan sonar, sediment sampling and ROV-based photogrammetry) and provide high-resolution multiscale (5 cm to 2 m) 3D models for input to hydrodynamic modelling using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. This assessment will determine the controls on pollution, the distribution of pollutants and their variance under changing marine environmental conditions, as well as assisting with scour studies to determine wreck site stability. On a broader scale, the real impact of this research will be the creation of a legacy report aimed at informing policy makers and other stakeholders at how to best manage and remedy shipwreck-based pollution on the short (5 years) and long term (50 years). The project is funded through the Marine Institute Post-Doctoral Fellowship.

Experience and knowledge in any of the following areas would be highly valued: seafloor mapping and imaging (ROV-derived photogrammetry acquisition and processing, multibeam sonar); data mining/web-scraping; sediment analysis (geochemical and particle size); CFD modelling; Irish shipwreck (heritage and policy). The appointee will work directly with PI's at University College Cork and University College Dublin, and will be expected to engage with a range of external stakeholder organisations.

For an information package including further details of the post and to apply see: https://ore.ucc.ie/ (Job ID: 073372). Application can only be accepted through at the above link. The deadline for applications is 02-Feb-2024 12:00.

posted: 19 December 2023     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.