Starting salary is normally in the range £28,695 to £37,394
The position is available from July 1st 2015, for a period of 33 months
The Western Boreal Plain of Canada is characterized by a mosaic of forest and peatland ecosystems. The region is home to the Albertan oils sands which accounts for 175 billion barrels of oil. The effective reclamation of mined areas within this region requires the construction of resilient ecosystems that can maintain the hydrological conditions necessary to sustain ecological growth and carbon sequestration under a changing climate. You will join an interdisciplinary international team of academics from the University of Birmingham, the University of Alberta, University of Waterloo, and McMaster University to examine the ecohydrological functioning of this forestland-peatland landscape in order to inform future landscape design and reclamation.
You will model the hydrology of this mosaic landscapes, simulating the movement of water through peatland ecosystems, and the interactions between peatlands and forestlands. You will examine the range of peatland hydrological trajectories and vegetation moisture stress associated with different soil layering, climate cycles and vegetation successions. This will make use of a 90,000 ha wildfire that burnt large areas of the region in 2011, modifying peat hydrological properties, altering vegetation communities and producing hydrophobic soils. Further, you will investigate how hydrogeology controls the magnitude and direction of water flow between wetlands and forestlands along a 60 km hydro-geological transect. This will focus on riparian interfaces which provide the “gateway” for these interactions. Model simulations will be parameterised and evaluated using data collected previously by the project partners and from data that you collect during a summer field work investigation within Alberta, Canada. Knowledge gained from this research will be incorporated within a suite of ecohydrological models that will inform future landscape reclamation and characterize the vulnerably of the Western Boreal Plain to disturbance.
You will possess a PhD relevant to the project. Proven programming skills (e.g. Matlab, Fortran) and modeling experiences is essential. Knowledge of hydrological modelling software such as Hydrus or HydroGeosphere and experience in undertaking field investigations are both desired but not essential.
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