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Delivering exceptional research

Without quality researchers, there can be no quality research.

This is why we invest into PhD scholarships and support you during every step of your research journey. Many of our projects are interdisciplinary and in collaboration with industry.

If you choose to carry out your postgraduate studies with us, you will become part of a vibrant, forward-thinking research community.

Register now to keep up to date about our scholarship rounds for 2019 and beyond.

Modelling microplastic dispersal, settling and distribution in estuarine environments

Estuaries are ubiquitous features along the coastline where fluvial and marine environments meet and interact at a range of temporal and spatial scales. The interaction between river inputs (discharge and sediment load) and marine processes (tides, waves, sediment transport) create dynamic sedimentary basins which can act as temporary stores and sinks of sediment.

Plastic particles may be seen as a new, anthropogenic sediment. Different types of plastics are transported at different rates. Low-density plastics are concentrated near the water surface whilst high-density plastics may be transported more slowly near the river-bed.

With vertically increasing flow velocity, low-density plastics may be transported most quickly but may be more easily trapped on floodplains as floods attenuate. Little is known about the fate of fluvially transported microplastic in estuarine environments.

This studentship will focus on modelling the transport and settling rates of microplastics in the Humber Estuary, combining high resolution flow monitoring and sampling with state of the art numerical models to understand where and when microplastics are deposited in estuarine environments under differing fluvial and marine controls.

Application deadline: Monday 17 June 2019

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