QUADRAT: Multidisciplinary Quantification Ecosystem Services to Streams, Provided by Formerly Afforested Blanket Bog.
Applications are now CLOSED
Extensive areas of upland blanket peat have been developed for commercial coniferous forestry over the past 70 years. The modification of these areas has resulted in extensive changes to the bogs that host them and the ecosystem services they provide. More recent recognition of the importance of these areas for providing wider benefits to society has resulted in the removal of many plantations, with the goal of restoring more natural ecological conditions and improving ecosystem services, such as reduced risk of flooding, better water quality and improved biodiversity.
This project will examine these topics in detail with the aim of determining feasibility of restoring other formerly afforested peatlands. Work will be carried out in dedicated study areas (catchments) that are either (a) afforested, (b) recently cleared of forestry, but not restored, (c) formerly afforested and then restored, or (d) an undeveloped blanket bog that has never been afforested. By comparing the water quality, stream flow and biodiversity in each area, the impact of restoration measures will be evaluated. Work will compare findings of results of an ongoing programme being carried out at Queen's University Belfast that has examine conditions in streams draining relatively intact blanket bog at three test sites across Ireland, over the past three years.
Proposed research will involve continuous monitoring of colour, mineralisation (SEC) and hydrology (stream runoff, groundwater level, rainfall and evapotranspiration). More targeted sampling for water quality analysis in the laboratory and focused monitoring for biodiversity will aim to more confidently define the potential benefits that restoration activities can bring to streams draining blanket peatlands.
Field work will be carried out at the CAFRE Hill Farm, Glenwherry, Co. Antrim, which forms part of Northern Ireland Water's Killylane Drinking Water Catchment. This area is owned by the Northern Ireland Department Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), who support this study by providing access to study sites, provision of monitoring equipment and assistance in field sampling/monitoring. In addition, DAERA have also installed dedicated equipment for monitoring hydrological conditions at the study sites. Continuous hydrological monitoring has been on-going at the site since June 2019. Further assistance will be provided by Northern Ireland Water, who have agreed to provide additional hydrological and water quality loggers, laboratory equipment and field autosamplers, for collection of water samples for laboratory analyses.
Research will be jointly supervised by Dr. Raymond Flynn (QUB), who will oversee peatland hydrological investigations and assist in day to day logistics. Dr. Vasilis Louca will oversee biological sampling and characterisation of the field study areas, while Dr. Donal Mullan will focus on the supervision of water quality sampling and issues related to sediment loss. This research would suit candidates with a strong Environmental Science (including Earth Science) or Environmental Engineering Background. Alternatively, activities could suit candidates with a strong field-based Biological Sciences background interested in diversifying their skill set into the area of Ecosystem Restoration.
This project is in competition for funding.
This project is funded by the NERC QUADRAT-DTP and is available to UK/EU nationals who meet the UKRI eligibility criteria. Please visit www.quadrat.ac.uk for more information.
The studentship provides funding for tuition fees, stipend and a research training and support grant subject to eligibility.
Civil Engineering overview
The research centre will address the topical grand challenges in civil engineering field, building on existing and developing new international collaborations. Financial support to meet these challenges will be acquired through both internal University initiatives (for enhanced infrastructure and facilities) and external funding from government grants, charities and direct industrial support.
Research will address the grand challenges of energy, carbon, clean water, infrastructure; exploring extremes and defining new limits. Key research areas include:
Marine renewable energy
Groundwater and environmental systems
Intelligent infrastructure and high performance structures
Energy efficient materials
Mode of study / duration
Registration is on a full-time or part-time basis, under the direction of a supervisory team appointed by the University. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of three years of full-time registration for PhD, or two years for MPhil (or part-time equivalent).
The dynamic nature of this research has been key to the CERC's success in attracting significant funding from UK research councils, government departments and agencies. CERC generated £11.5m in external research income during the last Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) 5-year period.
The Civil Engineering Research Centre (CERC) is a leading international, interdisciplinary centre that enables scientists and engineers from all areas of civil engineering investigation to work on diverse, yet complementary research.
A special feature of the CERC is the extensive and diverse range of research topics being researched by students and staff in the Centre.
For further information on career opportunities at PhD level please contact the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences Student Recruitment Team on askEPS@qub.ac.uk. Our advisors - in consultation with the School - will be happy to provide further information on your research area, possible career prospects and your research application.
People teaching you
The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
|Northern Ireland (NI)||£4,407|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB)||£4,407|
|Other (non-UK) EU||£4,407|
Civil Engineering costs
There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may also be other extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies . Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £100 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, and library fines. In undertaking a research project students may incur costs associated with transport and/or materials, and there will also be additional costs for printing and binding the thesis. There may also be individually tailored research project expenses and students should consult directly with the School for further information.
How do I fund my study?1.PhD Opportunities
Find PhD opportunities and funded studentships by subject area.2.Doctoral Training Centres at Queen's
Queen's has eight outstanding competitive Doctoral Training Centres, with each one providing funding for a number of PhD positions and most importantly a hub for carrying out world class research in key disciplines.3.PhD loans
The Government offers doctoral loans of up to £26,445 for PhDs and equivalent postgraduate research programmes for English- or Welsh-resident UK and EU students, £10,000 for students in Scotland and up to £5,500 for Northern Ireland students.4.International Scholarships
Information on Postgraduate Research scholarships for international students.
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How to Apply
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