3 PhD Positions in hydrological impacts, modelling and innovative solutions to prevent environmental pollution from managed peatlands

We are looking for 3 highly motivated PhD students to work on an interdisciplinary four-year project funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (Ireland) investigating Strategies to improve Water quality from Managed Peatlands (SWAMP project). Starting date: 01/9/2019.

The primary objective of SWAMP is to develop an interdisciplinary approach to quantify the pressures on waters arising from drained/extracted peatlands and develop appropriate regulatory measures, sustainable land use management and innovative technologies to ensure the status of water bodies is protected, maintained or improved in line with the requirements of national and international environmental standards. The key objectives of the project are as follows:

• To improve our understanding of the hydrology, hydrogeology, water balances and nutrient exports from drained and extracted peatlands.
• To investigate the impacts and pressures on water quality (chemistry, aquatic biota and hydromorphology) arising from the drainage and mining of peatlands by identifying contaminants pressure zones and assessing the significance and extent of these environmental impacts vis-à-vis the Water Framework Directive and Flood Directive targets.
• To evaluate environmental protection measures in order to develop best practices guidelines by appraising and developing a) robust water purification methods and b) sustainable land-use management practices including restoration/rewetting and after-use of cutaway/cutover bogs.

The 3 PhD candidates will work within a UCD multidisciplinary team comprised of researchers from Peatland Science / Freshwater Ecology / Environmental Hydrology Research Groups, as well as industry collaborators.
Project Principal Investigators: Dr Florence Renou-Wilson (UCD - Peatland Scientist); Ass. Prof. Mary Kelly-Quinn (UCD- Freshwater Ecologist); Ass. Prof. Fiachra O’Loughlin (UCD- Hydrological modelling), Prof. Michael Bruen (UCD- Prof. of Environmental Hydrology) and Dr Shane Regan (NPWS – Eco-hydrologist). Other partners are Ass. Prof Shane Donohue (UCD – Geotechnical engineering), Dr Josephine Treacy (Limerick IT – Analytical scientist) and Dr Connie O’Driscoll (Ecologist at Ryan Hanley)

PhD 1: Experimental studies evaluating water pollution mitigation measures at drained and extracted peatland sites and development of land use management strategies.
PhD 2: Investigations into the distal downstream influence of peat extraction and peat drainage activities on the physico-chemical composition and biodiversity of associated aquatic habitats.
PhD 3: Modelling of the effects of drainage and water treatment on the hydrology, hydro-morphology and hydrochemistry of industrial cutaway peatlands.

UCD is committed to creating an inclusive environment where diversity is celebrated, and everyone is afforded equality of opportunity. To that end, the university adheres to a range of equality, diversity and inclusion policies. We encourage applicants to consult those policies here.


Full advertisment details can be downloaded here: 3 PhD positions SWAMP project