Doctoral Training Programme

The Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) recruits students across all areas ranging from palaeobiology to volcanology; from deep Earth seismology to physical oceanography; and from sedimentary basins and mountain-building to biogeochemistry and climate change.

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate research degree in Earth Sciences via the ‘Doctoral Training Partnership in Environmental Research’ you will need to apply for course code R8_1; the full details of which are available at www.environmental-research.ox.ac.uk.

They welcome applications and expressions of interest from any well qualified students with an ambition to work in a world-class research environment in the Geosciences.

Deadlines and Interviews

Applications are generally open from September until January for entry in the following October.  Further details can be found here.

Research Areas

Projects currently open to application are listed here.  You can also devise a project of your own in consultation with potential supervisors.

Listed below are research areas where we expect to be able to supervise DTP projects.  Please contact potential supervisors if you’d like further information; a list of Faculty and their contact details can be found here.

Earth’s climate system

(Bob Hilton, Don Porcelli, Ros Rickaby, Stuart Robinson, Gideon Henderson, Richard Katz, Samar Khatiwala, Helen Johnson, Heather Bouman, Laura Stevens)

  • Reconstructing Mesozoic and Cenozoic ‘greenhouse’ climates and environments.
  • Reconstructing past climates using new old molecules.
    Phytoplankton optimisation to evolving carbon: Implications for the past and future.
  • Chemical variability of the ocean’s bottom boundary layer.
  • Dust fluxes to the surface ocean.
  • Geochemical landscape of the prebiotic Earth.
  • Tracing ocean circulation with chemical tracers.
  • Melting and water drainage from ice-stream margins: theory and computation.

Plate tectonics, mountain building and natural resources

(Chris Ballentine, Joe CartwrightMike Kendall, Richard Palin)

  • Earthquakes, Active Tectonics, and Mountain-Building in Central Asia.
  • Modelling fracture and cementation in sedimentary rocks.
  • Using noble gases to probe the origins of crustal fluids: oil, water and gas.

Seismology, volcanism, magmatism and the deep Earth

(Paula Koelemeijer, Tamsin Mather, David Pyle, Richard Katz, Chris Ballentine, Jessica HawthorneMike Kendall, James Bryson, Claire Nichols)

  • Deep carbon in deep time.
  • Seismological imaging of mantle structure beneath a hotspot volcano.
  • Volcanic CO2 emissions in the Main Ethiopian Rift.
  • Magma/mantle dynamics: production and extraction of melt from the convecting mantle.
  • The fluid dynamics of melting and melt extraction.
  • Using Earth Observation techniques to understand volcanic processes.
  • Mantle volatile reservoirs.
  • Volcanic continental margins and continental break-up.
  • Understanding the volcanism of the Tasmantid seamount chain.
  • Large explosive eruptions in the Main Ethiopian Rift.
  • Global seismic waveform tomography with massive data volumes.
  • Seismological investigations of the Earth’s core-mantle boundary region.
  • Small-scale scattering and attenuation in the Earth’s mantle.
  • Experimental determination of volatile element behaviour during volcanism.
  • The generation of the Earth’s magnetic field
  • Core heat flow over Earth’s history
  • Exploring Earth’s internal observation through paleomagnetic measurements

Seismological studies on the Earth and Sun

(Mike Kendall, Paula Koelemeijer)

  • Uncertainty estimation in seismic tomography.
  • Iterative optimisation for combined boundary and volumetric structures.
  • Lattice-Boltzmann method for wave propagation.
  • Imaging the Sun’s interior with acoustic waveforms.
  • Shallow structures, hazard and seismic sources.
  • Assessing seismic source properties by waveform modelling.

Palaeobiology and Evolution

(Erin Saupe, Ross Anderson)

  • Origins and evolution of sea turtles using x-ray imaging of exceptional fossils.
  • Large scale patterns of vertebrate evolution using advanced statistics and the fossil record.
  • Using phylogenomics and fossils to dissect adaptive radiation in the pelagic realm.