Wild carbon

Spatial and temporal evaluation of soil carbon dynamics in rewilding projects: implications for carbon sequestration.


An opportunity to apply for a funded full-time PhD in the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences, UWE Bristol. The studentship will be funded by the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences in collaboration with/part-funded by industrial partner WildCarbon: Ref 2022-OCT-HAS02.

The expected start date of this studentship is 1 October 2022.

Studentship details

Rewilding’ is being deployed to enhance biodiversity and contribute to climate change mitigation by increasing carbon storage and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Soils play a key role in long-term global carbon storage. Current valuation and validation standards for rewilding and/or carbon offsetting projects are dependent on default values for carbon accumulation that may or may not be validated for specific ecosystems and so there is a requirement for empirical evaluation of the spatial and temporal variation of soil carbon and GHG flux within rewilded ecosystems for future method developments.

Wild Carbon are offering British companies the chance to offset their carbon footprint and restore UK biodiversity at the same time. UWE Bristol are partnering with Wild Carbon to provide baseline monitoring of GHG flux (carbon dioxide and methane) and soil microbial ecology at a range of rewilded farmland sites in the UK. This research is aimed at developing and evaluating a monitoring approach to account for and validate the spatial and temporal variation in GHG flux that occurs due to site-specific abiotic and biotic factors. This research will involve field work, greenhouse experiments and modelling approaches. Find out more details and information.

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email Dr Sam Bonnett at sam.bonnett@uwe.ac.uk.


The studentship is available from the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress and includes a tax-exempt stipend, which is currently £16,602 per annum.

In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years.


Applicants must have minimum of 2:1 in relevant subject (e.g. Environmental or Life Science) and ideally will have a Masters. The studentship is available both for UK and overseas applicants.
Applicants will ideally have

  • Data analysis skills (eg SPSS, Minitab, R)
  • Experience of soil and biogeochemical laboratory techniques is desirable
  • Experience of working in the field under variable weather conditions

Applicants with questions about their eligibility are welcome to contact the supervisory team.

How to apply

Please submit your application online. When prompted, use the reference number 2022-OCT-HAS02.

Supporting documentation: you will need to upload your research proposal, all your degree certificates and transcripts and your proof of English language proficiency as attachments to your application so please have these available when you complete the application form.

References: you will need to provide details of two referees as part of your application. At least one referee must be an academic referee from the institution that conferred your highest degree. Your referee will be asked for a reference at the time you submit your application, so please ensure that your nominated referees are willing and able to provide references within 14 days of your application being submitted.

Further information

The expected start date of this studentship is 1 October 2022

The closing date for applications is 16 May 2022.

Interview date(s) will be confirmed in due course.