The Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Iceland seeks applicants to fill a Ph.D. student position for three years for the project: Anthropogenic impacts on lakes in Iceland.
The planned research will focus on lake ecosystems in Iceland and potential anthropogenic impacts due to the dissemination of emissions of reactive nitrogen, the country¿s tourism boom in recent years and the influx of pollutants, including microplastics. Surface-sediment samples and short sediment cores will be collected from a number of lowland and highland lakes as a basis to investigate sedimentological, geochemical and ecological parameters and microplastics. Relatively recent lake alterations as a result of atmospheric nutrient deposition, catchment-soil erosion, climate change and microplastics pollution will be assessed.
The planned research includes:
- to test whether anthropogenic emissions of reactive nitrogen caused nutrient-budget changes in the last decades,
- to examine whether the influx of detrital particles and organic matter from the catchment changed as a result of increased soil erosion in the catchment and/or recent climate change,
- to determine when lake conditions changed, the rates of change, and to understand the driving factors, and
- to determine current levels of microplastics pollution (plastics <5 mm in length).
Lake-sediment analyses and microplastics investigation
The PhD project includes the collection of lake-surface sediments and short sediment cores, tephrochronological dating of the cores, analyses of microplastics and modelling of its distribution and mass budgets.
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