GALLANT PhD Programme

PhD-01: Identifying co-benefits of different nature-based solutions to improve flood and erosion resilience of the River Clyde and its estuary

Position filled, more information coming.

GALLANT aims to address flood risk related to tidal changessea level rise, and increased water from extreme weather events, and to transform land use along the River Clyde by identifying sites for urban corridor parks for flood water storage, while also improving areas along the Clyde for wildlife and people.

This PhD project will focus on investigating the co-benefits of nature-based flood protection options on the river networks draining into the Clyde Estuary. The PhD student will use results of exploratory nature-based solutions to flooding with physical geography, ecology and biogeomorphological monitoring of greening the grey and hybrid nature-based solutions in London and Glasgow, UK to assess the full range of ecosystem and social services these features provide.

PhD-02: Community and privately-owned urban (green) spaces as nature-based solutions

Emma Plant started work on this PhD on 1st October 2022, supervised by GALLANT Co-Investigators Thorsten Balke, Dominic McCafferty, Davide Dominoni, and Ria Dunkley.

GALLANT aims to halt biodiversity loss by restoring and connecting currently isolated habitat patches. It will improve biodiversity by restoring and connecting habitats across Glasgow. Citizens will play a key role in helping researchers to map important bird and mammal species that lead to new management practices in greenspaces to increase connectivity between habitats.

Citizens and community groups in urban areas increasingly seek to actively improve the quality of greenspaces in their immediate surroundings to improve biodiversity and wellbeing. This PhD project is exploring how enhancing, encouraging, and connecting such relatively small-scale activities may significantly contribute to wellbeing and biodiversity at the city scale.

Emma is working primarily within Work Package 2 of GALLANT: 'Biodiversity and societal benefits of ‘natural’ urban habitats: Nature-based Solutions' in an integrated urban-habitats network alongside two postdoctoral researchers, and is closely collaborating with GALLANT Work Stream 2: ‘Community Collaboration’.

PhD-03: Understanding and modelling the potential impacts of alternate land-use practices: CO2 sequestration and pollutant immobilisation in derelict and contaminated land sites

Heloisa Dickinson started work on this PhD on 1st October 2022, supervised by GALLANT Co-Investigators Caroline Gauchotte-Lindsay, Cise Unluer, and Ana Basiri, along with Alison Heppenstall from the School of Social and Political Sciences.

GALLANT aims to trial new ways of regenerating derelict and polluted land through technology that mineralises greenhouse gases and traps organic pollutants into building materials for the future, as well as returning these sites for community use and ecologically functional places.

Large efforts by Scottish Government have gone into identifying, categorising and characterising vacant and derelict land across Scotland and have led to large datasets becoming available for use by researchers. The focus of this PhD project is to develop a novel method for the immobilisation and stabilisation/solidification of heavy metal-contaminated soils and waste materials in vacant and derelict land sites via carbonation.

PhD-04: Community engagement in active travel

Position filled, more information coming.

GALLANT aims to work with up to five communities in Glasgow to develop multi-level (infrastructure-, social/community-, individual-focused) interventions to promote active travel for short journeys. A key aspect of this work will be to understand the mechanisms through which communities coalesce and act collectively to embrace walking, wheeling and cycling practices.

This PhD takes as its starting point models of socio-technical transitions to sustainability (e.g., the multi-level perspective, collective action and thresholds of collective behaviour) to explore ways in which local stakeholders and actors respond to, engage with, adapt and collectively adopt (or not) opportunities to promote walking, wheeling and cycling for local journeys. It will also seek to understand perceptions of cost and benefits to different end-users and how these influence active travel adoption.

PhD-05: Innovative energy-harvesting technologies to promote active travel

Position filled, more information coming.

GALLANT aims to enhance the connectivity that is important not only for nature, but for active travel and inclusive mobility; and to tackle sustainable energy as a key challenge to achieving net zero carbon. 

Sustainable low-carbon energy solutions (SLES) are needed to achieve net zero, energy resilience, improved air quality and green job creation, but no solution will be truly effective without a shift in users’ behaviour. This project will investigate and test innovative, small-scale energy-harvesting technologies to promote active travel and show to the commuters the importance of their role in the sustainable transition.

PhD-06: Developing community-scale whole-energy system models integrating sustainability KPIs towards net-zero futures

Currently being recruited. Applications are closed.

To tackle sustainable energy as a key challenge to achieving net zero carbon. GALLANT will develop sustainable low carbon energy solutions at the community scale that empower local people as active energy citizens to co-create clean energy demand.

This PhD project will focus on the development of bespoke whole-energy system models to analyse the feasibility and upscaling potential of sustainable low-carbon energy interventions in the city of Glasgow. The findings at local scale will feed into the city scale goals. The models will integrate socio-environmental criteria (such as job creation, equity and social justice, biodiversity and ecosystem services) in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the modelling process. To enable a more comprehensive sustainability assessment, environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methods will be applied, together with Social and socio-economic LCA (S-LCA) for the full sustainability assessment of the value chain of goods and services. Sensitivity of the results on system boundaries and processes, and on sustainability Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will be investigated.

The successful candidate will demonstrate appropriate modelling and coding skills and experience to assess, project and inform decisions based on energy system modelling and LCA best practices.

PhD-07: Public health benefits and challenges of Glasgow’s transition to climate resilience: systems science and data analytics

Amy Stevenson started work on this PhD on 1st October 2022, supervised by GALLANT Principal Investigators Jaime Toney and Petra Meier, and Co-Investigators Nick Bailey and Claire Miller.

This PhD project sits between overarching GALLANT Systems Transformation and Data Science work. It is enhancing the impact of GALLANT through its focus on the health and wellbeing inequalities impacts of climate mitigation scenarios considered by Glasgow decision makers – as well as considering the health and wellbeing impacts of delays to action.

PhD-08: Ecopedagogy for accelerating a city-wide just energy transition in Glasgow

Sarah-Jane Hamilton started work on this PhD on 1st October 2022, supervised by GALLANT Co-Investigators Ria Dunkley, Gioia Falcone, and Rhys Williams.

This PhD project is associated with overarching GALLANT Community Collaboration work.

Effective ecopedagogy is an essential aspect of just energy transition, which requires us not only to think about individual and household behaviour change outcomes but also to involve communities in critical conversations.

Sarah-Jane is working with communities and partner organisations in Glasgow. Her research will develop ecopedagogic approaches to enhance understandings of the Smart Local Energy Systems (SLES). She will develop and evaluate interventions designed to support community involvement. The project involves forming partnerships with local organisations and will involve community partners and stakeholders. Sarah-Jane will critically evaluate outcomes of the chosen interventions.

PhD-09: Data analytics for urban environmental planning

Position filled, more information coming.

GALLANT will produce a virtual data hub that will bring to life the living lab of data collated and created through the programme on environment, ecology, place, people and communities. This will enable opportunities to learn about Glasgow’s ‘living space’, how it is changing, and what effect interventions may have on the future environment, economy, health and wellbeing for the city.

This PhD will explore connecting data streams across GALLANT within the virtual data hub and developing analytics/modelling tools and visualisation of data/outputs to support future city planning for a specific case study of interest within GALLANT, which can be tailored to the interests of the successful candidate.

PhD-10: Optimising Delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals: A New Synthesis of Soft and Hard Systems Approaches

Currently being recruited. Applications are closed.

Currently, there is no established methodology for implementing Doughnut Economics that fully accounts for the dynamic interaction between the targets. Researchers in GALLANT are working on it, and this PhD will be a part of this activity.

The PhD student will use a mixed-methods approach, combining both qualitative methods (e.g. The Soft Systems Methodology) and quantitative approaches (e.g. The NK fitness models), and apply them using the City of Glasgow as the case study. They will work in a multidisciplinary environment, linking knowledge across healthcare, economics, and environmental systems to support decision-making by Glasgow City Council.

PhD-11: How do urban landscapes influence animal dispersal and ecological connectivity?

Currently being recruited. Applications are closed.

To halt biodiversity loss by restoring and connecting currently isolated habitat patches. GALLANT will improve biodiversity by restoring and connecting habitats across Glasgow. Citizens will play a key role in helping researchers to map important bird and mammal species that lead to new management practices in greenspaces to increase connectivity between habitats.

The aim of this PhD project is to use ecological and population genetics to examine how ecological connectivity functions within fragmented animal populations. We will apply high-density, genome-wide approaches to measure and evaluate genetic patterns with great sensitivity. Individual movement events among patches will be quantified by assigning dispersers back to their natal patch using genome-wide inference. Permeability of landscape features and habitat types to gene flow will be assessed using landscape genetics approaches. Candidate map layers of landscape resistance and conductors to movement will be statistically assessed regarding their ability to explain observed spatial genetic patterns at the individual and population level.