PHD on “Design and implementation of mitigation measure toolbox to disconnect farm roadway runoff nutrient losses from waters at catchment scale”| Fully Funded

PhD PHD on “Design and implementation of mitigation measure toolbox to disconnect farm roadway runoff nutrient losses from waters at catchment scale”| Fully Funded

Deadline: 02 June 2023

I. Background
Despite generally declining soil phosphorus (P) balances, the impairment of fresh waters due to P and nitrogen (N) emissions from agricultural landscapes remains a key environmental issue. Relatively small but critical source areas within agricultural catchments tend to contribute disproportionally to nutrient concentrations in receiving waters, and require identification followed by targeted remediation strategies.

Farm roadways, which typically retain excessive nutrient concentrations, particularly P, have been little investigated with respect to their role in nutrient transport to receiving waters. These roadways, many of which have not been mapped to date, may contain all components (i.e. source, mobilization, transport, hydrological connectivity, delivery, and impact) of the nutrient transfer continuum, and contribute significant non-point nutrient losses within catchments, the extend of which is unknown.

In addition, source P loads from within the farm roadways themselves are considered a highly concentrated source of legacy P and likely a large contributor to catchment scale P emissions via surface and subsurface pathways.

The primary objectives of this scholarship therefore are to:

  1. Identify farm roadways using high resolution mapping and delineate critical roadway sections that need management;
  2. Measure the impact of critical roadway sections for differing farm typologies on incidental and temporal catchment scale pollution, taking account of the impacts of climate change and
  3. Develop and assess the effectiveness of a variety of on- and off-roadway mitigation measures and management options to reduce farm roadway runoff. The work programme will combine field and laboratory investigations, desktop geographic information system analysis, and networking with experts in the field.

II. Requirements

  • Applications are invited from graduates holding a first or upper second-class primary degree or equivalent or M.Sc. in a relevant discipline (Environmental Science, Hydrology, Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Water resource Management, Agricultural Science, Soil Science etc.).
  • The successful candidate should be practically minded and self-motivated.
  • A full EU driving licence is required and applicants will be required to demonstrate English Language Competency to UL guidelines.

III. Award

  • The PhD scholarship is a joint research project between Teagasc, Crops, Environment and Land-Use Programme, Johnstown Castle, Wexford, and University of Limerick (UL).
  • The scholar will be based predominantly at Teagasc, Johnstown Castle and will be registered for a four-year structured PhD programme at UL, working under the direct supervision of Prof. Owen Fenton, Drs Karen Daly, and Pat
    Tuohy (Teagasc), and Dr John Murnane (UL).
  • The scholarship funding is €24,000 per annum and includes university fees of up to a maximum of €6,000 per annum, commencing in September 2023.
  • The structured PhD programme has been developed to provide prospective scholars with a high-quality experience of original research combined with professional development.

IV. Application Procedure

  • Applicants should submit a CV and covering letter detailing their qualifications and experience to Owen Fenton ([email protected] ) and John Murnane ([email protected] )
  • For Further Information, please contct
  1. Prof. Owen Fenton, Teagasc, Crops, Environment and Land-Use Programme, Johnstown Castle, Co.Wexford, Ireland. Phone +353 (0)53 9171271; email: [email protected]
  2. Dr. John Murnane, School of Engineering, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick, Ireland. Phone +353 (0)61 202488; email: [email protected]

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