Reducing flood peaks with trees and other nature-based methods across the English catchment with the largest recorded flood discharge


3 Year Enterprise-led Funded Phd ref. no. CGE64

The aim of the project is to deliver scientific evidence of the benefits of trees and other measures of ‘natural flood management’ to flood peak reductions for Lancaster city through a combination of innovative field measurements and a range of modelling techniques.

In December 2015 the flood discharge in the River Lune was the largest ever recorded for an English river resulting in severe flooding in Lancaster city and loss of power for thousands of residents. Floods in this period renewed the nation’s interest in using ‘natural measures’ to help mitigate floods. The necessary wide-scale implementation of these measures is, however, hampered by the lack of credible scientific studies to quantify the magnitude of the hydrological benefits. This PhD project develops techniques in hydrology from plot to catchment scales, and integrates these with the latest modelling techniques to simulate floods, and quantify hydrological change across a range of scales from individual features to large rivers. In developing and applying these methods to the Lune catchment, the candidate will collect and simulate some of the best data on the benefits of ‘natural flood management’ in the UK.  The goal is to translate this science into practice and disseminate findings through the media.

The successful applicant will hold a first class, upper second or masters degree in Geography, Environmental Science, Civil/Environmental Engineering, Soil Science, Forestry or a related discipline.

Enterprise and Collaborative Partner

The PhD is a collaborative research project between Lancaster University, The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, The Lune Rivers Trust and The Woodland Trust.

The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) is a world-class research organisation focusing on land and freshwater ecosystems and their interaction with the atmosphere.

The Lune Rivers Trust is a charity dedicated to the conservation, protection, rehabilitation and improvement of the River Lune throughout its whole length and its associated tributaries. Their aim is to protect and improve the riverine habitat to encourage the biodiversity of the River Lune and its tributaries.

Why Apply?

By joining the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation you will

  • Receive £15,000 tax free per year
  • Have your postgraduate tuition fees paid for by your partner business, worth £4,195/year (fees for Non EU/UK graduates are subsidised from £17,510/year to £13,315/year). See published rates by year of entry
  • Become part of a cohort of graduates working with an award-winning team on business-led R&D
  • Finish in a strong position to enter a competitive job market in the UK and overseas.

Application details

To apply for this opportunity please email with:      

• A CV (2 pages maximum)
• PhD Application Form
• Application Criteria Document
• Funded PhD Reference Form
• Reference number: CGE64   

Application deadline

Application deadline: 11th August 2017
Start date: September 2017