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«Nottingham Trent University Doctoral School School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences PhD Projects 2016 Welcome to the Nottingham Trent ...»

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Sheng, Y., Sun, Q, Shi, W., Bottrell, S., Mortimer, R.J.G. (2015). Geochemistry of • reduced inorganic sulfur, reactive iron and organic carbon in fluvial and marine surface sediment in Laizhou Bay region, China. Environmental Earth Science v.

74, 1151-1160.

Lawley, R. and Smith, B. (2008). Chapter 14: Digital soil mapping at a national • scale: A knowledge and GIS based approach to improving parent material and property information. Digital Soil Mapping with Limited Data. A. E. Hartemink, A.

B. McBratney and M. L. Mendonca Santos. Berlin, Springer, 173-182, ISBN 978Plant, J. A., Korre, A., Reeder, S., Smith, B. and Voulvoulis, N. (2005). Chemicals • in the environment: implications for global sustainability. Applied Earth Science 114: B65-B97.

Supervisors: Dr Marcello Di Bonito, Professor Rob Mortimer, Dr Barry Smith Supervisor biogs The supervisory team includes experienced researchers with different backgrounds: the expertise covers environmental geochemistry (Di Bonito, Smith), biogeochemistry (Mortimer), GIS (Di Bonito).

The individual team members have various experience in project leading and PhD supervision. Marcello Di Bonito is currently co-supervising 1 PhD project; Rob Mortimer is currently supervising 3 PhD students and has supervised a further 12 to successful completion. Barry Smith has extensive experience of project management and has undertaken joint supervision of PhD and MSc studentships at ten national and international universities.

Entry Requirements

In order to be eligible to apply, you must hold, or expect to obtain, a UK Master’s degree (or equivalent according to NARIC) with a minimum of a merit, and/or a UK 1st Class/2.1 Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent according to NARIC) in environmental sciences, environmental chemistry, earth sciences or related subject. A working experience or understanding of GIS is desirable. The minimum English language proficiency requirement for candidates who have not undertaken a higher degree at a UK HE institution is IELTS 6.5 (with no element to be below 6.0).

Contact: marcello.dibonito@ntu.ac.uk for informal discussions about this project.

Applications should be made to the Doctoral School – www.ntu.ac.uk/doctoralschool From soils to water: phosphorus release at different scales and climate conditions Phosphorus released from agricultural soils causes water quality impairment in receiving rivers and lakes. Whilst a range of mitigation approaches are available, these are often unsuccessful due to a combination of release of ‘legacy P’, climate fluctuations, ineffective conservation practices or inadequate P management policies. Although phosphorus cycling in both soils and waters has been well studied, significant gaps in our understanding remain, particularly in how P is released from soils and transported to water bodies. This project aims to understand the precise mechanisms of phosphorus release at different scales from a range of soils under different agricultural management practices and climatic conditions.

The study aims to quantify P cycle at different scales for a number of different field sites (see Scalenghe et al. 2010) representative of a wide range of pedo-environments, pedoclimates and landuse, characterised by P surpluses (agriculture) within European regions (see also MacDonald et al., 2011).

The study will include field observations, sampling and laboratory studies following some of the most recent techniques suggested to control the risk of P leaching (e.g., Erickson et al., 2012; Kõiv et al., 2012; Liu et al., 2013; Rittmann et al., 2011). P release will be tested from the selected soils using known techniques (e.g., DGT, rhizon-samplers), and carrying out laboratory experiments for P recovery (by precipitation as Al-, Fe-, Mg- e.g.

struvite, or Ca- e.g. hydroxyapatite, products) in the view of their modelling.

Furthermore, local knowledge (e.g., farm and land management) will also be used and integrated with more specialist information (e.g., capture and recovery techniques, digital terrain models, GIS, soil surveys, etc.). The interdisciplinary approach will allow to build flexible models (independently calibrated, verified and validated) to be used for decision-making and management.

Publications

Concas, S., Ardau, C., Di Bonito, M., Lattanzi, P., And Vacca, A. (2015). Field • sampling of soil pore water to evaluate the mobility and phytoavailable fraction of trace elements in the Iglesiente area (SW Sardinia, Italy). Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 158, 82-94.

M.D. Krom, A. Ben David, E.D. Ingall, L. G. Benning, S. Clerici, S. Bottrell, C.

• Davies, N. Potts, R.J.G. Mortimer, J. van Rijn (2014). Bacterially mediated removal of phosphorus and cycling of nitrate and sulfate in the waste stream of a “zero-discharge” recirculating mariculture system. Water research v. 56, 109-121.

Pan, G., Krom, M.D., Zhang, M., Zhang, X., Wang, L., Dai, L., Sheng, Y., and • Mortimer, R.J.G. (2013). Impact of suspended inorganic particles on phosphorus cycling in the Yellow River (China) Environmental Science and Technology v. 47, 9685-9692.

Palmer-Felgate, E.J., Mortimer, R.J.G., Krom, M.D., Jarvie, H.P., Williams, R.J., • and Stratford, C.J. (2011). Internal loading of phosphorus in a sedimentation pond of a treatment wetland: effect of a phytoplankton crash. Science of the Total Environment 409, 2222-2232.





Palmer-Felgate, E.J., Mortimer, R.J.G., Krom, M.D., Jarvie, H.P. (2010) Impact of • Point-Source Pollution on Phosphorus and Nitrogen Cycling in Stream-Bed Sediments, Environmental Science & Technology, 44(3), pp908-914.

Scalenghe, R., Edwards, A.C., Barberis, E. & Ajmone-Marsan, F. Are agricultural • soils under a continental temperate climate susceptible to episodic reducing conditions and increased leaching of phosphorus? Journal of Environmental Management (In Press).

Supervisors: Dr Marcello Di Bonito, Professor Rob Mortimer, Riccardo Scalenghe (external), Andrea Vacca (external); advisor Dr Davide Tarsitano (external).

Supervisor biogs The supervisory team includes experienced researchers from different institutes (Nottingham Trent University, Scotland’s Rural College, University of Cagliari and University of Palermo). The team covers different areas of expertise, from environmental geochemistry (Di Bonito and Mortimer), modelling (Tarsitano), pedology (Vacca) and soil nutrient cycling (Scalenghe). The individual team members have various experience in project leading and PhD supervision. Marcello Di Bonito is currently co-supervising 1 PhD project; Rob Mortimer is currently supervising 3 PhD students and has supervised a further 12 to successful completion.

Entry Requirements In order to be eligible to apply, you must hold, or expect to obtain, a UK Master’s degree (or equivalent according to NARIC) with a minimum of a merit, and/or a UK 1st Class/2.1 Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent according to NARIC) in environmental sciences, environmental chemistry, earth sciences or related subject. The minimum English language proficiency requirement for candidates who have not undertaken a higher degree at a UK HE institution is IELTS 6.5 (with no element to be below 6.0).

Contact: marcello.dibonito@ntu.ac.uk for informal discussions about this project.

Applications should be made to the Doctoral School – www.ntu.ac.uk/doctoralschool Landform-sediment assemblage and climatic signature of outflow glaciers from Vatnajökull, SE Iceland Changing glacier dynamics are a key unknown in the ability to predict the potential contribution of glaciers to sea level rise. This project will involve the investigation of proglacial landforms that have developed since the Neoglacial maxima of Vatnajökull.

Vatnajökull is the largest ice cap in Europe and is located in a critical location making it particularly sensitive to climatic fluctuation in the North Atlantic region. Aerial images, LiDAR data sets and dGPS surveys will characterise landform morphology and a range of techniques will also be employed to assess the sedimentology of these features to aid understanding of former glacier dynamics.

Publications

Midgley, N.G., Cook, S.J., Graham, D.J. and Tonkin, T.N. (2013) Origin, evolution • and dynamic context of a Neoglacial lateral-frontal moraine at Austre Lovénbreen, Svalbard. Geomorphology, 198, 96-106.

Tonkin, T.N., Midgley, N.G., Cook, S.J. and Graham, D.J. (in press) Ice-cored • moraine degradation quantified using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and Structurefrom-Motion photogrammetry. Geomorphology.

Tonkin, T.N., Midgley, N.G., Graham, D.J. and Labadz, J.C. (2014) The potential • of small unmanned aircraft systems and structure-from-motion for topographic surveys: A test of emerging integrated approaches at Cwm Idwal, North Wales.

Geomorphology, 226, 35-43.

Supervisors: Dr Nicholas Midgley and Dr Jillian Labadz Supervisor biogs Between them, the proposed supervisory team have supervised many PhD students to completion and has relevant subject expertise in aerial survey methods and investigation of glacial sedimentology.

Entry Requirements In order to be eligible to apply, you must hold, or expect to obtain, a UK Master’s degree (or equivalent according to NARIC) with a minimum of a merit, and/or a UK 1stClass/2.1 Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent according to NARIC) in either Geography, Geology, Earth Science or Environmental Science. The minimum English language proficiency requirement for candidates who have not undertaken a higher degree at a UK HE institution is IELTS 6.5 (with no element to be below 6.0).

Contact: nicholas.midgley@ntu.ac.uk for informal discussions about this project.

Applications should be made to the Doctoral School – www.ntu.ac.uk/doctoralschool Individual and population responses to human-induced disturbance events in wild mammals.

This project will focus on how individuals respond behaviourally and physiologically to local changes in their environment and how this influences population persistence at the local scale. One of the major drivers of biodiversity loss is caused by habitat loss and fragmentation. Increasing levels of human induced land management and urbanisation can lead to direct and in-direct impacts on the behaviour and fitness of individuals with consequent impacts on local population viability. In order to mitigate any negative impacts human land use has on wildlife populations, we need to better understand the processes which can lead to extirpation. This project will use an appropriate mammalian model species (e.g. hedgehogs, rodents etc.) to experimentally test individual and population responses to appropriate disturbance events which could include: prescribed fire events, deployment of artificial lighting; urban development; mowing and harvesting.

Publications

Yarnell, Scott, Chimimba & Metcalfe (2007). Untangling the roles of fire, grazing • and rainfall on small mammal communities in grassland ecosystems. Oecologia.

154: 387-402 Yarnell, Hall, Royle and Walker (2015) Domesticated horses differ in their • behavioural and physiological responses to isolated and group housing.

Physiology and Behaviour 143: 51-57 Supervisors: Dr Kelly Yarnell and Dr Richard Yarnell Supervisor biogs Dr Kelly Yarnell is a Senior Lecturer in Equine Science with research interests in thermal biology, physiology and Animal welfare.

Dr Richard Yarnell is a Principal Lecturer in Biodiversity Conservation, and has research interests in ecology and conservation of mammals. Dr Yarnell leads the Ecology and Conservation Research Group, and has current research projects in the UK and Southern Africa. He is also a member of the IUCN Hyaena Specialist Group.

Entry Requirements

In order to be eligible to apply, you must hold, or expect to obtain, a UK Master’s degree (or equivalent according to NARIC) with a minimum of a merit/commendation, and/or a UK 1stClass/2.1 Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent according to NARIC) in Biological Sciences, or related subject. The minimum English language proficiency requirement for candidates who have not undertaken a higher degree at a UK HE institution is IELTS 6.5 (with no element to be below 6.0).

Contact: Richard.yarnell@ntu.ac.uk for informal discussions about this project.

Applications should be made to the Doctoral School – www.ntu.ac.uk/doctoralschool Predator induced stress and the ecology of fear The project will investigate individual physiological and behavioural responses to perceived and actual predation and how these influence individual fitness, using freeliving plains zebra (Equus quagga) as a model organism. The project will use both a comparative and experimental approach to test predictions about the ability of zebra to be aware of predation risk.

The comparative study will compare the behaviour and physiology of zebra in two predator treatments: locations of high (National Park with lions) and low (game ranch) predator density. Behavioural observations on time budgets of study animals will be combined with demographic data on herd size and composition to model predator induced effects. Faecal corticosterone levels will also be compared across treatments to identify if zebra perceive the threat from predators and whether this manifests itself in creating an ecology of fear which will impact on the fitness of individuals.

The experimental study will use the same variables, but will track individuals through time as they are translocated from areas of low to high predator density and vice versa.

This project will be one of the first to test whether predator risk induces chronic stress in a free-living animal population, and to directly investigate the cogitative aspects of avoiding predation and the ecology of fear.

Publications

Yarnell, Phipps, Dell, MacTavish, and Scott (2014) Evidence that vulture • restaurants increase the local abundance of mammalian carnivores in South Africa. African Journal of Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/aje.12178 Yarnell, Hall, Royle and Walker (2015) Domesticated horses differ in their • behavioural and physiological responses to isolated and group housing.

Physiology and Behaviour 143: 51-57 Supervisors: Dr Kelly Yarnell and Dr Richard Yarnell Supervisor biogs Dr Kelly Yarnell is a Senior Lecturer in Equine Science with research interests in thermal biology, physiology and Animal welfare.



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