Self-funded PhD students only

Project code



Department of Geography

Start dates

February and October

Closing date

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.

Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements

  • 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, quoting the project code GEOG1291015 and the project title.

You can also visit our How to Apply pages to get a better understanding of how the PhD application process works.

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