PhD opportunity in Natural Flood Management

Nature-based approaches to flood management

Department of Geography, School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin.

NOTE: The deadline for receipt of 1st phase applicants is October 20th 2017

There have been several severe flood events in Ireland in recent years caused by extreme rainfall often combined with coastal storms. Climate model predictions show an increasing probability of similar and higher magnitude events in the future. Many European agencies are attempting to reduce flood risk through Natural Flood Management (NFM) approaches. flooding-ireland

The fundamental idea behind NFM is to introduce more natural processes as a means of reducing flood risk. It is usually applied in conjunction with more traditional (engineering) measures. In some locations engineered approaches might not be viable or deemed cost-effective and natural flood management therefore provides an alternative.

Given the increasing risk to people, their property and to the economy, it is clear that additional flood defense approaches need to be considered. In the Irish context, Natural Flood Measures have not yet received adequately consideration.

This project will:

  1. collect and collate data on a catchments where NFM can be applied.
  2. Undertake hydrologic and hydraulic modelling to assess choices of NFM approaches and integrated designs.
  3. Demonstration measures will be emplaced and evaluated.

Applications are welcomed from students who have field geomorphology and hydrology training.

You will be applying for a competitive 4 year scholarship. In the first instance, please contact Dr Bourke (bourkem4[at] to register your interest – please email a CV and covering letter with the contact details (including email addresses) of two referees.

Your covering letter should clearly set out your suitability and motivation for this PhD with reference to your past experience and achievements.

Dr M Bourke

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Post Doc opportunity (Landslides)

Improved Management of Climate & Environment Risks through the automated detection of landslides

Applications CLOSED


Send indication of interest (short email with 2 page CV) to bourkem4 [at] ASAP
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Storm Desmond Flood in Ireland

*Teagasc have compiled a map of flooded areas from the 2014 storms.


River Shannon is Ireland’s largest river and drains 20% of the country.

See the flood inundation map viewer here
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Congratulations: Marine Institute Networking and Travel Award

Congratulations to EPSP Group member Niamh Cullen who was awarded a Marine Institute Networking and Travel Grant to attend and present her PhD research at the European Geophysical Union Assembly in Vienna, Austria in April 2017. She will present an paper on ‘The geomorphic effect of recent storms – Quantifying meso scale abrasion across a shore platform.’



The Networking Initiative is funded by the Marine Institute under the Marine Research Program with the support of the Irish Government.



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The Quaternary of Co. Wexford – TCD 2nd Year Field Trip

Post contributed by Niamh Cullen

At the beginning of March I accompanied twenty second year Earth Science students led by Prof Pete Coxon on a 3 day field trip to Wexford. Having been on this trip during my own undergraduate I was also looking forward to revisiting some of the amazing geomorphology Wexford has to offer, most notably the Pingos at Camross (Figure 1B) . It was my first opportunity to meet this bunch of students and a great chance to get some more teaching experience.

Speaking from my own experience these field trips are really important for getting students engaged with the subject matter.   Residential and non-residential field trips form an vital part of the learning process. Students get to see first-hand these incredible landscapes that they might not otherwise get to visit. For many students these field trips are a rare chance to interact with lecturers (they’re human too!) outside of a classroom environment, and are generally enjoyable for both students and lecturers. Field trips also provide an opportunity to enhance learning through integration of theory and practice of concepts learned in the classroom. With cutbacks and increased workloads, field trips are few and far between for many students despite the huge body of research that suggests that they are one of the best ways to engage students in learning. They’re also just great fun, as long as you don’t mind a bit of rain and being up to your knees in mud!


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Congratulations: Marine Institute Travel Award

Congratulations to our resident Research Assistant, Ciaran Nash, who was awarded a Marine Institute of Ireland Researcher Travel Award to present at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly  in Vienna, Austria. Ciaran will be presenting a poster entitled, “Looking inside out: tracing internal moisture and salinity changes in dunes on the west coast of Ireland“, that reflects the research he conducted for his Masters in Environmental Sciences.



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Check it out: Planetary Cakes

I’ve always wanted to try to bake one of these but never knew where to start.


This site has video that helps you build scientifically accurate representations of the subsurface on Jupiter and Earth (from the outer atmosphere down through the crust, mantle, and inner core.


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