October 10, 2017

Reconstructing 2000 years of hydrological change in Africa – implications for future climate scenarios

Reconstructing 2000 years of hydrological change in Africa – implications for future climate scenarios

Lake systems in Africa provide drinking water to some of Earth’s fastest growing and most vulnerable human populations. In response to climatic and anthropogenic pressure, such as land-use changes, lakes are under threat from changes in water balance and water quality. There is an urgent need for regional climate information from tropical regions to allow the downscaling of climate projections that will aid the setting of useful policy, management and adaptation targets. Knowledge of hydrological variability and its associated temporal and spatial patterns are essential for developing sustainable water resources and land use management in this region, and ensuring agricultural security. This studentship will involve the production of new proxy timeseries for hydrological change in Uganda over the last 2000 years using lake isotope records. In addition, monitoring and hydrogeological data will be used to derive hydrological mass balance models for the lake systems. These new data and modelling approaches will be used to investigate how anthropogenic activity affects local hydrological balance in recent decades, against a background of natural change, and the consequences of such impacts under future climate scenarios. As part of this studentship the successful candidate will have the opportunity to undertake fieldwork in Uganda, and develop research links with colleagues based in overseas institutions, including a training visit to Washington University, Missouri. This research is collaboration between the British Geological Survey and the University of Nottingham. At BGS, the project will be located within the BGS
Global Team and isotope analyses will be undertaken in partnership with the NERC Isotope Geosciences Facility. At UoN, the student will be based within the School of Geography.

Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in subjects such as Geography, Environmental Sciences, Geoscience, or Hydrogeology. An MSc in a related discipline would be an advantage.

Please contact Dr Keely Mills ( or Dr Matt Jones ( who will be happy to provide further information about this PhD project.