Ph.D. in Antarctic geophysics/glaciology at Swansea University (fieldwork included)

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Ph.D. in Antarctic geophysics/glaciology at Swansea University (fieldwork included)

King, Edward C.

This posting advertises the rare opportunity to study Antarctica by going there.

Swansea University, in collaboration with the British Antarctic Survey and the University of Leeds, are offering a fully-funded NERC Ph.D. studentship entitled:

‘Drumlin form and evolution beneath Rutford Ice Stream, West Antarctica using ice-penetrating radar’

Closing date for applications:  May 12th 2017

Repeated seismic surveys undertaken on Rutford Ice Stream, West Antarctica show rapid changes including both fast erosion of the soft sedimentary bed and deposition including the formation and lengthening of a drumlin beneath the ice stream. This PhD will target the 3-D structure and evolution of bedforms such as drumlins beneath the ice stream using 3-D ice-penetrating radar. These techniques will be used to derive a much more detailed interpretation of the ice-bed topography than has so far been possible using 2-D approaches. Antarctic-logistics permitting, the student will also participate in at least one data acquisition field season.

The studentship is a component of the BEAMISH project, which has major NERC-funding to use hot-water drilling and surface experiments to understand the processes operating at the bed of Rutford Ice Stream and their influence on ice sheet stability. During the main BEAMISH field season we aim to drill multiple holes to the ice stream bed, sample basal sediments and install instrumentation to measure ice deformation, temperature, sliding rates and sediment properties. A suite of geophysical measurements, including the student’s own radar surveys collected one year prior, will complement the borehole experiments. The student will benefit from being part of this multi-institution, international project team and will participate fully in planning and analysis meetings.

The studentship provides the rare and exciting opportunity for a PhD student to participate in a field programme in Antarctica. The student’s field season (1-2 months long) will involve designing and collecting new 3-D radar surveys on the Rutford Ice Stream during 2017-18 as part of a British Antarctic Survey / BEAMISH team. The field season will be one year prior to the main BEAMISH field season. Accommodation will be in shared tents. Depending on logistics there is also the possibility the student will be able to assist in the main BEAMISH field project the following year.


We are looking for a numerate graduate from a discipline such as geophysics, physics, engineering or Earth Science with an interest in the Polar Regions who is a strong team player. You will need a 2.1 or a First class degree; a relevant MSc would be an advantage. Preference may be given to a candidate with experience in processing radar or seismic data. The PhD will be jointly supervised by Professor Tavi Murray (Swansea University), Dr Ed King and Dr Andy Smith (British Antarctic Survey) and Dr Adam Booth and Dr Roger Clark (University of Leeds). The PhD will primarily be based in Swansea, but the student should also expect to spend time at BAS in Cambridge and in Leeds. You will need to be physically capable and medically fit to work in Antarctic conditions, so participation in the fieldwork will be dependent on a successful medical assessment. Informal enquiries before the deadline for formal applications are welcome by emailing Dr Ed King [hidden email]

Further details and how to apply:



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