King’s Water undergraduate research placements

King’s College London is a research-led and student-centred university. The calibre of our research and teaching is among the very best in the world. It is our belief that our students should be involved in the cutting-edge research that makes King’s the university that it is today. King’s Undergraduate Research Fellowships give undergraduate students the unique opportunity to learn alongside leading academics. This year, King’s Water is proud to announce that several of the KRUF positions are for placements with our staff.

Continue reading

Stephen Lintner visits the Department of Geography

Stephen Lintner joins the Department of Geography at King’s College London in 2017 for his third year as a Visiting Professor. Professor Lintner has over 40 years of worldwide experience in environment, infrastructure and water resources management. At King’s, he focuses on three complementary themes: policies and procedures for management of environmental and social impacts and risks; assessment and management of transboundary freshwater, coastal and marine resources; and evaluation of historical processes of human modification of environmental systems. Lintner previously held leadership roles at the World Bank; his most recent position, from 2000 to 2014, was as Senior Technical Adviser with global responsibilities. Earlier he was the Bank’s Adviser for Freshwater, Coastal and Marine Resources Management. Prior to joining the World Bank, Lintner served in the United States Agency for International Development, United States Geological Survey and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. He is the former President of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA). He holds a Ph.D. in Geography and Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University (USA).

In addition to giving a number of research seminars and lectures, Professor Lintner has made time to meet individually with students and staff during his visit. Anyone who would like to meet with Stephen is invited to sign up for free online (http://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080d4fabad2aa7f58-11s). Master’s and PhD students interested in careers in international development, finance, and environmental policy are especially encouraged to make an appointment.

Event flyer for Stephen Linter's seminar on 8 February

Stephen will be speaking at the Human Geography Seminar this week, sharing his insight into international development financing. Please join us from 4:30pm in the Pyramid Room. A drinks and nibbles reception will follow.

International Development Financing: Current Priorities, Policies & Practices
 
Stephen Lintner, Visiting Professor
Wednesday 8 February 2017
4:30pm, Pyramid Room

This seminar will consider international development financing from the perspective of the multilateral development banks (MDBs) that are among the principal sources of such financing. The current priorities, policies and practices of these institutions will be reviewed, with a focus on environmental and social issues. The seminar will also discuss how the MDBs are structured and governed, how they develop their policies and strategies, and how the programs and projects they fund are prepared and implemented. Stakeholder engagement, and the processes used by the MDBs to engage a range of participants, including people affected by projects, will be addressed as well.

Funded water studentships at Leeds

The River Basin Processes and Management research cluster at the University of Leeds provides international leadership in understanding and managing environmental processes and feedbacks that control and link water, sediment, solute and biotic dynamics in river basins, estuaries and marine systems.  The Cluster has recently announced a variety of funding opportunities for water research.

A fully-funded NERC Industrial CASE studentship will examine the hydrological function of organo-mineral soils in downstream flood risk.

We seek to understand hydrological processes operating in upland organo-mineral soils and how their management and vegetation cover influences river flow peaks. This novel field, lab and modelling project will expand our knowledge on the function and hydrology of upland soils which are of high conservation value. The project will directly provide urgently needed management decision-making evidence on upland soil management for flood peak reduction. Organo-mineral soils cover around 20 % of the UK, and are particularly common in upland areas with the main types being stagnohumic gleys and acid brown earths. Unlike peatlands, the function and hydrology of organo-mineral soils is globally very poorly understood with major gaps in the literature. These soils typically underlie upland heathland and grasslands in areas with high conservation value. It is unclear whether these soils are dominated by throughflow (and what their typical permeability range is), infiltration-excess overland flow or saturation-excess overland flow in different topographic contexts and rainfall events. It is also unclear how management of organo-mineral soils impacts their role in runoff generation.

There is an urgent need for evidence on ‘nature-based’ flood management solutions, particularly in UK uplands – source areas for the UK’s major rivers. Recent modelling work on peatlands by researchers at the University of Leeds has shown that controlling overland flow velocities by changing the surface cover conditions in key spatially identifiable parts of the catchment can play an important role in reducing flood peaks (by up to 20 % for some rainfall events) (Gao et al., 2016). However, we do not have data from organo-mineral soils, which are likely to function quite differently to peat, to inform such modelling and so practitioners have limited basis for upland management decisions which may benefit those downstream at risk of flooding.

The student will be part of the River Basins Processes and Management cluster in the School of Geography and water@leeds which is the world’s largest interdisciplinary university-based water research centre. water@leeds hosts 140 PhD students. These groups provide access to routine training through seminars, structured feedback on project ideas and technical training. The successful PhD student will have access to a broad spectrum of training workshops that range from technical through to generic skills building. The supervisory team will provide training on soil hydrological processes and modelling.

This is a fully-funded 4 year studentship providing full UK/EU level fees and a tax-free maintenance stipend of approximately £14,500pa.  To apply, please submit an application for study and the required supporting documents listed here by 9 January 2017

Additional projects with water@leeds include:

Projects eligible for NERC DTP funding 2017/18

Projects without funding

Studentship available: Human Dimensions of Water in Appalachia

West Virginia University is pleased to offer a Graduate Research Assistantship exploring the social elements of the hydro cycle. See below for more details and to apply.

Human Dimensions of Water in Appalachia

This study will focus on the dual nature of water in West Virginia: a resource towards economic transition and/or a source of concern due to its polluted and destructive nature. This study will be based on a case study methodology where experience with qualitative methods is required and knowledge of GIS is welcomed.

Webpage: http://pages.geo.wvu.edu/~mcaretta/
Faculty Information:  Dr. Martina Angela Caretta, martina.caretta@mail.wvu.edu

Applicants interested in the Graduate Research Assistantships described below are encouraged to contact the research faculty prior to applying. Applicants must submit a CV and research statement addressing specific interests and qualifications for the potential research topics outlined below. In addition to the specific qualifications for these positions, potential candidates must meet the admission standards and be fully accepted into the Geology & Geography Department at WVU. Transcripts, test scores, and all other completed application materials are due January 1, 2017 for Fall 2017 admission. You can access the application portal here: https://graduateadmissions.wvu.edu/.

WVU Geography offers both Masters and Doctoral degrees and a rigorous certificate program in Geographic Information Science.  Our rapidly growing graduate program is composed of 19 core geography faculty with expertise in the interdisciplinary subfields of Human Geography, Environmental Geography and GIScience.  WVU Geography faculty are engaged in local, regional and global research focused on human-environment relations, climate change, political geography, spatial science, digital humanities, forest ecosystem modeling, cultural and political ecologies, conservation science, feminist geography, science and technology studies, humanitarianism, land change science, critical cartographies, food justice, and development geography.  Faculty are currently conducting research in South Asia, Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, East Asia and the United States, including Appalachia.

PhD Researcher Profile: Nando Lewis

Nando Lewis is a PhD candidate supervised by Frans Berkhout in the Department of Geography and Anja Shortland in the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London. After taking a gap year to cycle from Lima to Buenos Aires, Nando completed a BSc in Psychology in 2013 at University College London. During his BSc, Nando also took a module in primatology and this led him to Gashaka-Gumti National Park in Nigeria where he assisted a project researching chimpanzee tool use by the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. A short walk from Bedford Way to Tavistock Square ensued, where Nando completed an MSc in Security Studies, also at UCL.

King's Water PhD student Nando Lewis dives with a turtleWater is not only an academic subject for Nando. He was born in it, and his main leisure activities include underwater rugby and spearfishing. Nando’s passion for spearfishing has taken him to the Azores, Canary Islands, Madeira, much of the European Mediterranean, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the glorious coastlines of Dorset and Northumbria. Spending so much time underwater searching for fish has shown Nando the devastating impact that unregulated fishing (including spearfishing) can have on the size, number, variety and behaviour of fish. Nando enjoys travelling and is proficient in French, Spanish and German, maintaining his proficiency during the ‘off-season’ by reading fiction books in those languages. He hopes to find many more excuses to travel through his association with King’s Water.

Continue reading

PhD Studentship available with King’s Water member Bruce Malamud

A 3-year fully funded research studentship funded through EDF Energy is currently open for applications. The positions is based at King’s College London at the Department of Geography and will be academically supervised by Prof Bruce D. Malamud (KCL) and industrially co-supervised by Dr. Pietro Bernardara (EDF Energy R&D UK Centre).

Many world regions are at risk from different kinds of natural hazards (e.g., earthquakes, tsunamis, extreme temperatures, floods) occurring spatially and temporally in close proximity. The industrial sector is increasingly interested in a “multi-hazards” with respect to better designing infrastructure, not just the potential impacts of a single hazard, but a combination of multiple hazards, and how industry can incorporate ideas of multi-hazards into their risk assessments and designs. However, multi-hazard research is a relatively young, multi-scale and multi-disciplinary field of study. Researchers working on multi-hazard include statisticians, social scientists or engineers. Current studies on multi-hazards can be conducted at multiple scales ranging from country to region down to site specific (e.g., a single building). The result has been “multi-hazard” research using different methods, approaches and even vocabulary, with no “standard approach”. Here, this PhD aims to address one part of multi-hazard research by creating and using probabilistic models of multi-hazard events.

Continue reading

PhD Researcher Profile: Anna Lavelle

In a special edition of our series profiling the King’s Water students, here’s a repost of a piece from the King’s Geography blog highlighting PhD researcher Anna Lavelle. Anna is supervised by King’s Water staff members Nic Bury and Michael Chadwick.

PhD researcher Anna LavelleExploring the regular ‘inmates’ of the John B Thornes Laboratory, we ask PhD student Anna Lavelle what she gets up to…

• What are you doing in the lab?

My current work looks at examining nitrate and ammonium fluxes across the sediment-water interface in urban London rivers to determine the success of restoration.

• Why is it important?

The synergistic effects of multi-stressor factors placed upon river networks draining urban land is a phenomenon widely know as the “urban stream syndrome”. These stressors include physical habitat modifications, hydrological change and poor water quality resulting from increases in nutrient and toxicant loads. In recent decades, restoration efforts aimed at improving the physical structure, flow characteristics and ecological condition of rivers have been implemented across London to counteract these problems. However, little research has been undertaken to determine the success of restoration with respect to ecosystem function. The dearth of knowledge surrounding ecosystem function forms an important part of this project.

• How did you get into your field?

I have always had an interest in river environments. Examining river erosion along the Daintree River, Australia for my undergraduate dissertation using remote sensing , I began to gain an interest in the different factors shaping river environments. Following on from this, segments of my master’s degree in Aquatic Resource Management were focussed on river functioning and management. After being accepted onto my PhD programme and liaising with my supervisors, we found there to be a considerable amount of scope to examine ecosystem function as a determent of river restoration.

• What’s your favourite piece of kit in the lab?

The fluorometer! It is a compact and portable item of equipment used to measure parameters of fluorescence which correlate to ammonium concentrations in water.

• Tell us about an interesting or surprising finding you’ve come across recently?

I have noticed that there has been an increased focus on community river clean-up groups in and around London. It has been great to see the success that community engagement has brought about.

MSc Student Profile: Daniyar Sagadiyev

Thus far on our King’s Waster Postgraduate Taught Student Profile Series, we’ve met China’s Olivia Pang, Californians Henry Symons and Rebecca Peters, and Britain’s Jack Bathe and Hazel Lewis. Today, meet Kazakhstan’s Daniyar Sagadiyev.

Daniyar Sagadiyev did his undergraduate in Almaty, Kzakhstan, the country’s former capital, where he studied water resources and water use. Since 2010, Daniyar has worked as an expert in the Committee for Water Resources in the Kazakh Ministry of Agriculture.

DaniyarDaniyar’s time at King’s is sponsored by the Kazakh government. He was awarded a two-year period to achieve his master’s in order to further his capacities in resource management. Daniyar is using that opportunity to pursue a MSc Water: Science and Management with King’s Water because he liked the modules available. His favourite is the Water, Security and Environment class, which he describes as “allowing students to see how independent states work together to allocate shared water resources and jointly solve emerged water problems”.

After finishing his time at King’s Water, Daniyar will take his learning back to his native Kazakhstan to continue advising the Ministry of Agriculture.

 

For Daniyar, these words come to mind when he thinks about water:

Crisis

Disputes

Security

 

For more about study opportunities with King’s Water, check out our website. To keep up to date, follow us on Twitter!

MSc Student Profile: Rebecca Peters

Rebecca Peters is a 2013 Udall Scholar, 2013 Truman Scholar, and 2014 Marshall Scholar. After moving to the UK from California to study international development at the University of Manchester, Rebecca joined King’s Water to pursue a MSc Water: Science and Governance.

Experience with water communities in developing countries led MSc student Rebecca Peters to consider the politics of water access as well as the technicalities

Experience with water communities in developing countries led MSc student Rebecca Peters to consider the politics of water access as well as the technicalities

Rebecca sees access to water as essential to achieving basic human rights, environmental sustainability, and geopolitical stability. Over the past decade, her community work has taught Rebecca that achieving water access for all is not just a technical challenge for scientists and engineers, but a significant legal, political, and social problem. Through her participation in local stream restoration and as a member of the Environmental Commission of her local city council in America, Rebecca witnessed how collaborative water management can empower community participation in environmental decision making. Joining her community to address local water pollution issues resonated on a personal level and Rebecca planned to dedicate my career to restoring local waterways as an environmental scientist. However, her path radically shifted during the second year of university at California Polytechnic in 2010 as she came to understand neglected global dimensions of struggles regarding access to water. With an engineering class, Rebecca traveled to Guatemala to develop a safe water project with a rural community. While she saw the improved health outcomes that safe drinking water could deliver, she also realised her technical education would not be sufficient to address the social and political issues threatening water availability for poor people. Coming to understand that water is required to achieve livelihood advancement and environmental system health inspired Rebecca to transfer to the University of California, Berkeley to study Environmental Science (BSc) and Interdisciplinary Development Economics (BA). That was the first step on her path to systemically confronting global water challenges.

Continue reading

MSc Student Profile: Jack Bathe

Next up in our Profile Series of King’s Water postgraduates is MSc Water: Science and Governance student Jack Bathe.

I grew up in a small town south of London in Kent called Petts Wood. I’ve lived there all my life but started travelling to London to do Geography at King’s in 2012. Since then, having been exposed to the diverse nature that London and, in particular,  university campuses have to offer, I’ve upped my aspirations from wanting to eventually end up in a well-paying job in the city to wanting to travel far abroad and engage with all people from all places.

King’s, whether I knew it or not, had been a part of my life for a long time. The school I went to participated in a lot of their studies aimed towards the psychology of secondary school students – even though it wasn’t until some years later that I would recognise the logo. At first, I aspired to attend Oxford or Cambridge and was placed on a course at my school designed to prepare me for life in an elite environment. But when I toured the universities, I felt a little out of place. I hadn’t been brought up in the same upper-class environment as many of those around me. I decided against applying. I reassessed my options and applied to KCL and UCL, with King’s as my first choice. I chose KCL because it felt like more of a free flowing environment with the river on your doorstep and the Strand as the path to work – not a bad path really! I never looked back. King’s has treated me well and set me up nicely. I’ve met wonderful people from all walks of life who have exposed me to things I hadn’t even dreamt of just four years ago.

Jack Bathe pictured with his MSc classmates

Continue reading