Vacancies

EPA PhD Opportunity

“Pesticide management for better water quality”

(Posted: Nov 28, 2019)

Background

An increasing world population means that there will be inevitably an increased demand for food. To address this, international policy has been towards intensification of agriculture. This has led to an increased intensity of farming practices in some countries, which is linked with the increased use of pesticides. There has been significant public debate regarding the environmental and human health risks of pesticide use. Productive debate is limited by misinformation, resulting from the lack of current scientific research from independent, unbiased research groups. Consequently, there is a need for an investigation into pesticide fate, impact and mitigation, using state-of-the-art methodology to provide independent, scientifically-grounded information for policy and decision makers in Ireland and the EU. The overarching aim of this proposal is to use a multidisciplinary approach merging soil processes, molecular biology, engineering, and quantitative risk assessment methodologies to: (1) understand the drivers and pressures for the use of pesticides in the environment, (2) examine their fate and persistence, (3) evaluate any potential impact and risks to the environment and human health, (4) develop a low-cost, passive, in-situ method to remediate pesticides in the environment, and (5) disseminate knowledge and engage stakeholders and the general public in the project.

The PhD student will be part of a multi-disciplinary group comprising researchers from NUI Galway, Teagasc, University College Cork, and T.E. Laboratories. They will contribute to all the objectives of the project, in particular the identification of pesticides of concern in rural and urban environments, the completion of laboratory and field experiments examining the runoff and leaching of pesticides into surface and groundwater, and the examination of the capacity of novel adsorbents to capture them.

Requirements

Applicants should have a good primary degree (First or Second Class Honours) or M.Sc. in an appropriate discipline (Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Science, Civil/Environmental Engineering, etc.). The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated and be prepared for laboratory work and extended periods of field work with modern analytical equipment. Evidence (scanned document) of a full driving licence is required. Applications without this will not be considered.

 

Award

The student will be based at NUI Galway under the supervision of Prof Mark Healy, Dr Alma Siggins and Dr Liam Morrison. The Fellowship will start as soon as possible after the most suitable candidate is selected.

The fellowship provides a yearly stipend of €23,344. University fees are paid by the student from the stipend which is tenable for 3 years.

Further Information/Applications

Prof Mark Healy, Civil Engineering, NUI Galway.

Phone +353 (0)91 4953647. email: mark.healy@nuigalway.ie

Application Procedure

Submit an electronic copy of Curriculum Vitae and a letter of interest to: Prof Mark Healy (mark.healy@nuigalway.ie)

Closing date

20 December, 2019.

 

 

Water JPI/EPA PhD Fellowship

“Water management for sustainable use and protection of peatlands”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Position Filled ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 

Background

Peatlands cover large areas of northern Europe and are important for water quality and regulation of river flow. Peatlands require careful land and water management to reduce a range of negative impacts on water resources and ecosystem services. However, lack of knowledge on land and water management is a key issue in peatland management, which hampers sound decision-making. Unknown issues are:

  • how does peatland drainage and use effect hydrology and water quality at field and catchment scale? How can leaching and other negative impacts be limited by water table management, water retention, land conservation and different water treatment options to reduce downstream effects?

  • which peatland areas should be protected from drainage and intensive land use, and which can be used with limited environmental impacts?

  • what type of water pollution control structures (e.g. constructed wetlands, peak runoff control) and other measures are best suited considering their costs and effectiveness?

  • how can land and water management be combined in a sustainable way to limit impact of water for human consumption and the other environmental impacts? How can new technologies be best applied to protect surface water resources?

This project will improve our knowledge on peatland hydrological and geochemical processes, develop and test methods to reduce leaching and other negative impacts that occur after peatland drainage, and disseminate the knowledge gained to stakeholders.

Requirements

Applicants should have a good primary degree (First or Second Class Honours) or M.Sc. in an appropriate discipline (Geography, Environmental Science, Civil/Environmental Engineering, etc.). The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated and be prepared for laboratory work and extended periods of field work with modern analytical equipment. A full EU driving licence is also required.

Award

 The PhD Fellowship is part of a larger EU-funded Water JPI project, led by the University of Oulu. The student will be based at NUI Galway under the supervision of Drs. Mark Healy and Oisin Callery. The Fellowship will start as soon as possible after the interview date when the most suitable candidate is appointed.

The fellowship provides a stipend of €22,750. University fees are paid by the student from the stipend which is tenable for 3 years.

Further Information/Applications

Prof Mark Healy, Civil Engineering, NUI Galway; Phone +353 (0)91 4953647; email: mark.healy@nuigalway.ie

Dr Oisín Callery, Earth and Ocean Sciences, NUI Galway; Phone +353 (0)91 495157; email: oisin.callery@nuigalway.ie

Application Procedure

Submit an electronic copy of Curriculum Vitae and a letter of interest simultaneously to:

Prof Mark Healy (mark.healy@nuigalway.ie) and Dr Oisín Callery (oisin.callery@nuigalway.ie)  

Closing date

26 July, 2019.