Cambridge ESRC DTP Interdisciplinary Studentship
Cambridge ESRC DTP Interdisciplinary Studentship 2022 - Dangerous waters:
investigating the distribution and social impacts of volcanic metal and
volatile pollution in the East African Rift
The studentship can be either a one-year masters followed by three-year
doctoral programme or a three-year doctoral programme and will be co-
supervised by Dr Amy Donovan (Geography), Prof. Marie Edmonds (Earth
Sciences) and Dr Anja Schmidt (Geography and Chemistry).
Communities in the East African Rift are growing rapidly, and live alongside
some of the least studied volcanic systems in the world. These systems are
known to pollute local water resources with fluorides, but other trace metal
volcanic products (lead/mercury/arsenic) are much less studied, despite
volcanic rocks in the region being considerably enriched in these species
relative to other settings. This project will work with communities to
understand their own narratives around the soils beneath their feet,
contributing to emerging work on political geology, and gain insights into
local-level adaptations to the pollution. It also involves original
measurements of metal pollution to quantify the level of hazard from these
You will spend four months living alongside a community in the Rift Valley,
learning about their experiences of water use. You will undertake a range of
measurements of trace metal content in water resources (groundwater, aquifer,
well and run-off) and open water bodies. You will use a combination of social
methods which could include walking interviews, photo journals plus
undertaking water and geological sampling around the town and a wider regional
field campaign. Meteorological modelling will be used to establish the likely
impact of a volcanic eruption from a nearby volcanic centre. Training in
social methods is available.
An ESRC DTP studentship is open to all students who meet the required academic
conditions and will cover Home rate fees and provide £15,609 p.a. in living
costs (current rates). DTP students also receive a personal allowance for
additional training costs, and can apply for further funding to pursue
fieldwork, academic exchange, and collaboration with non-academic partner
You can find out more about: Cambridge ESRC DTP at:
https: // www. esrcdtp.group.cam.ac.uk/about/onoffer. Department of Geography at:
www. geog.cam.ac.uk. Department of Earth Sciences at: www. esc.cam.ac.uk.
Address any questions about this studentship to Dr Amy Donovan
Apply via the Department of Geography Postgraduate Admissions Portal to start
your application. Ensure you indicate the project title as the proposed
research title and Dr Amy Donovan as proposed supervisor on the online
application form. Applicants' research proposal should explain their
motivation for applying, including why their prior skills/knowledge make them
a good fit for the studentship, as well as offer preliminary reflections on
how they might tackle the studentship topic/methods.
Please quote reference LC29164 on your application and in any correspondence
about this vacancy.
The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and
encourages applications from all sections of society.
The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible
to live and work in the UK.
Department of Geography
23 November 2021
6 January 2022