Past Wildfire Histories
PhDs and postgraduate research
Self-funded PhD students only
School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences
October and February
Applications accepted all year round
There's an increasing interesting in understanding wildfires – how they occur, and how frequently they happen. This has, in part, been driven by climate change predictions, particularly how this might alter the expression of fire where their impact is limited, such as in Northwest Europe.
On this self-funded PhD programme, supervised by Dr Mark Hardiman, you'll examine these changes. Your project could involve reconstructing past wildfire frequency during periods of climate change. It could also involve studying charcoal preservation, transport and sedimentation.
The work will involve:
- techniques including high and low-powered microscopy
- analysis via Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
- charring experiments and use of a sediment flume
- reconstructing past environments studies in marine, lacustrine and peat bog archives
The best way to examine these changes is to study sediment archives containing past incidence of fire through periods of abrupt climate change e.g. the Last glacial to Interglacial transition.
Potential projects include:
- production of high resolution macro and micro-charcoal palaeo-records to reconstruct past wildfire frequency during periods of abrupt climate change
- study of charcoal preservation, transport and sedimentation in both ancient and modern geomorphic systems.
Fees and funding
Funding availability: Self-funded PhD students only.
PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK and EU students only).
2021/2022 fees (applicable for October 2021 and February 2022 start)
PhD and MPhil
Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,500 p/a**
Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,250 p/a**
International full-time students: £17,600 p/a*
International part-time students: £8,800 p/a*
PhD by Publication
External candidates: £4,407*
Members of staff: £1,720
All fees are subject to annual increase. If you are an EU student starting a programme in 2021/22 please visit this page.
*This is the 2020/21 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) maximum studentship fee; this fee will increase to the 2021/22 UKRI maximum studentship fee when UKRI announces this rate in Spring 2021.
Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.
- A good first degree from an internationally recognised university (depending on the course, minimum second class or equivalent) or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject
- Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0
- All applicants are subject to interview
How to Apply
To make an enquiry or to discuss this project informally with Dr Mark Hardiman, call 02392 842492 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting the project code GEOG1291015 and the project title.
When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV.
You can also visit our How to Apply pages to get a better understanding of how the PhD application process works.