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Quantifying and modelling global large river fluxes of microplastics


Funded PhD


3 years

Application deadline:

Wednesday 23 January 2019

About this project

The world’s largest rivers, “mega-rivers”, are vital transport vectors that support unique natural environments and act as conduits for global growth and development.

Research has demonstrated that there are significant volumes of plastic found in relatively clean, small-scale rivers and it has been estimated that plastic pollution in heavily polluted rivers is much worse, with the top 20 polluting rivers contributing >67% of waste to the world’s oceans. Despite this, no systematic study of plastic transport in mega-rivers has yet been undertaken.

This studentship will develop novel remote sensing methodologies, in combination with targeted fieldwork to map and monitor the fluxes, sources and transport routes through a range of the world’s largest river systems. This data will be combined with numerical modelling to refine our estimates of large river discharges of microplastics across longitudinal and socio-economic gradients.


The University's Postgraduate Training Scheme (PGTS) provides a range of generic and discipline-specific modules to support research students through their programme.

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The library has an exclusive lounge for postgraduate research students and a dedicated Skills Team to provide a wide range of study and research skills help. 

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The Graduate School provides support to postgraduate research students. Offering skills development opportunities and dedicate facilities, the school is here to help you achieve your potential. 

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Research at Hull tackles big challenges and makes an impact on lives globally, every day. Our current research portfolio spans everything from health to habitats, food to flooding and supply chain the slavery.

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Full-time UK/EU and International PhD Scholarships will include fees at the ‘home/EU' student rate and maintenance (£14,777 in 2018/19) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

PhD students at the University of Hull follow modules for research and transferable skills development and gain a Masters level Certificate, or Diploma, in Research Training, in addition to their research degree.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a 1st class undergraduate degree or Masters level research qualification in a relevant discipline. A 2:1 may be considered, if combined with relevant experience.

Additionally, experience of working in the field and knowledge of marine ecosystems would be beneficial.

Successful applicants will be informed of the award as soon as possible and by 15 March 2019 at the latest.