Director of studies: Professor Gerd Masselink
Coastal change management areas (CCMAs) are defined as: 'An area identified in Local Plans as likely to be affected by coastal change (physical change to the shoreline through erosion, coastal landslip, permanent inundation or coastal accretion).' If such areas are robustly defined and future impacts of climate change are accounted for in their definition, CCMAs are potentially very influential tools to help identify coastal adaptation strategies to climate change. Not only can they assist with the demarcation of coastal development exclusion or buffer zones, but can also guide Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) policy. This 3-year PhD project aims to develop a methodology for identifying CCMAs for the Devon and Cornwall, south West coast of England, in a robust and science-based manner, with the ultimate goal to increase consideration and implementation of CCMAs within coastal planning and management frameworks.
To meet the objectives of this multidisciplinary PhD, the following tasks are identified: (1) literature review to provide international context of the project; (2) assessment of current and future coastal erosion rates; (3) assessment of current and future coastal flooding risk; (4) definition of CCMAs based on coastal erosion and coastal flooding risk in partnership with the Environment Agency; and (5) evaluate the implementation of CCMAs in coastal planning in partnership with Devon/Cornwall council and/or local coastal councils.
The successful candidate will be part of the Coastal Processes Research group, an internationally recognised group of researchers, specialising in field studies and numerical modelling of coastal processes. It is customary for all members of the group to participate in each other’s field campaigns, resulting in organic transference of data collection/analysis skills and subject-specific knowledge. More specifically, this PhD project provides the opportunity to gain a range of advanced skills as the project includes spatial data analysis, numerical modelling and climate adaptation. The PhD student will also spend a significant amount of time interacting with external partners (Environment Agency, district and coastal councils), further augmenting their knowledge and skills.