Postdoctoral Research Fellow (“Hidden Depths: The environmental and social impacts of river sand mining”)

University of Exeter

Exeter, , GB

The post

The College wishes to recruit a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to participate in the research project: “Hidden Depths: The environmental and social impacts of river sand mining”. This Leverhulme Trust funded post is available from the 1st of July 2021 up to the 30th of June 2023.

After water and air, sand is the most heavily used natural resource (e.g., in the construction industry). Consequently, global urban expansion is driving a massive increase in unregulated sand mining from rivers, which is now causing major environmental degradation and endangering riverine and floodplain ecosystems. This project aims to elucidate this global problem by: (i) Using high resolution satellite imagery to quantify how and where sand is being extracted from the world’s large rivers; (ii) using these data to inform a series of numerical models designed to assess which rivers are most at risk from sand mining; and (iii) integrating this scientific knowledge with a qualitative ethnographic study to understand key governance issues that contribute to sand mining, and to assess the overall possibilities for mining sand more sustainably.

Overall, this project will be led by three academics across the disciplines of river science (Greg Sambrook Smith, Birmingham), numerical modelling (Andrew Nicholas, Exeter) and resource governance (Julian Clark, Birmingham). The current post, based at Exeter, will focus specifically on the application and evaluation of numerical models of river responses to sand mining, and will involve working as part of team that will include two other Research Fellows based at the University of Birmingham.

About you

The successful applicant will be able to develop research objectives, projects and proposals; identify sources of research funding and contribute to the process of securing funds and make presentations at conferences and other events.

Applicants will possess a relevant PhD or equivalent qualification/experience in a related field of study. The successful applicant will be a nationally recognised authority in Environmental Science, Geomorphology or Hydrology and possess sufficient specialist knowledge in the discipline to develop research programmes and methodologies. The successful applicant will also be able to work collaboratively, supervise the work of others and act as team leader as required. Applicants will have a secure knowledge of relevant fluvial processes, and experience of the application and evaluate of numerical models in geomorphic/hydrologic contexts.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity at Exeter

With over 22,000 students and 5,500 staff from 180 different countries we offer a diverse and engaging environment in which to work. We are an equal opportunity employer, a Disability Confident employer and an Athena Swan accredited institution. Since 2019, the university has also signed an Armed Forces Covenant, demonstrating the University’s commitment to supporting the Armed Forces community. Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented in the workforce.

For further information please contact Prof Andrew Nicholas, e-mail [email protected] or telephone (01392) 723338.