The Trailblazer PhD studentships have been devised and developed by leading early-career researchers at Coventry University.
Eligibility: UK/International (including EU) graduates with the required entry requirements
Duration: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term
Application deadline: 30 April 2024
Interview date: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates
Start date: September 2024
For further details contact: Dr Matteo Rubinato
Coventry University is inviting applications from highly motivated, suitably qualified graduates for a fully funded PhD studentship in numerical modelling of transport and dispersal of waterborne disease pathogens during flood events in order to explore potential and limitations of a new approach and apply it to analyse the impacts of climate change on pathogen transmission pathways.
This project’s overarching aim is to expand current knowledge of human health risks from waterborne disease pathogen dispersal during flood events. Infectious diseases from waterborne pathogens (e.g., E. coli, norovirus, adenovirus, sapovirus) are estimated to cause between 1 and 2 million deaths each year.
The anticipation, mitigation and prevention of flood-driven waterborne disease outbreaks requires suitable modelling approaches for predicting pathogen transport within riverine systems. This project’s vision is to realize a synoptic modelling approach, that enables and enhances preparedness against infectious disease outbreaks.
Objective 1: Develop a novel modelling approach for simulating the transport and dispersal of waterborne disease pathogens during flood events. Importantly, the new approach will combine catchment-scale mobilization of pathogens with high-resolution simulation of river channel and overbank flow dynamics, to capture pathogen dispersal onto floodplains during flood events.
Objective 2: Explore the new model’s potential and limitations relative to empirical data. This objective assesses the reliability of the new modelling approach.
Objective 3: Analyse sensitivities and resilience of pathogen dispersal dynamics under present-day climate conditions and under future extremes. Simulating, analysing and comparing pathogen transport dynamics and dispersal patterns under these future flood events will elucidate sensitivities and resilience in the pathogen dispersal dynamics.
This thus is a true interdisciplinary project – incorporating hydrology, fluvial hydraulics, epidemiology, climate science, and numerical modelling – that will advance knowledge of overbank pathogen dispersal dynamics for different pathogens and will enable assessment of risk of post-flood pathogen exposure to riparian communities. Ultimately, then the project will enable new research to prevent or mitigate waterborne disease outbreaks, which in turn will contribute to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 6 (particularly Target 3.3: combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases; Target 3.9: substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from air, water and soil pollution and contamination; Target 6.1: universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all).
This is a fully-funded studentship, including tuition fees and stipend/bursary.
The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.
All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.
Established in 2014 through substantial university investment, the Centre for Agroecology, Water & Resilience (CAWR) is rapidly building a global reputation for transdisciplinary research into processes of resilience in social-ecological systems. Among its key lines of research is work focusing on modelling of water and food systems, aided by high performance computing facilities. The Centre also houses a number of state-of-the-art laboratories which are available for use by the successful candidate.
To find out more about the project, please contact Dr Matteo Rubinato
All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.Apply to Coventry University