PhD Studentship, Climate and human-related risks to coastal and maritime cultural heritage in eastern Africa – Bournemouth University

As part of the Global Challenges Research Fund/Arts and Humanities Research Council project ‘Rising from the Depths: Utilising Marine Cultural Heritage in East Africa to help Sustainable Social, Economic, and Cultural Benefits’, Bournemouth University is offering a fully-funded PhD studentship focusing on any aspect related to (a) climate and/or human-related risks to maritime/coastal cultural heritage in eastern Africa or (b) coastal management practices to reduce environmental and social vulnerabilities associated with current and future threats (climate or human-related). The studentship is to be held in the Department of Life & Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science & Technology), supervised by Dr Luciana S. Esteves.

We are inviting applications to PhD project proposals that related to the two broad themes indicated above and select the candidate based on the quality of the proposed research and its fit to the wider scope of the ‘Rising from the Depths’ project. Rising from the Depths seeks to explore the marine/maritime cultural heritage of eastern Africa, and to conduct challenge-led research that can stimulate ethical, inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Applicants are strongly encouraged to look at the details of the project at our website.

The definition of maritime/coastal cultural heritage used within the project is broad and include tangible (such as buildings, shipwrecks, natural habitats, heritage sites) and intangible (such as traditional practices in fishing, arts, religion and other aspects related to identity of coastal communities) heritage and their relations with or dependency of the coast and/or the sea. The PhD research can explore any aspect of coastal change driven by climate and/or human activities (e.g. coastal development and port infrastructure) affecting coastal/maritime cultural heritage in eastern Africa (with particular interest in Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya and/or Madagascar). Projects of interest may focus on quantification of risk and vulnerability, coastal management strategies, adaptation measures and other related aspects, at any spatial scale (local, national or regional), preferably, covering temporal scales that are relevant to coastal management.

While the PhD researcher will be based at Bournemouth University, there will be opportunities of internships at partner organisations (e.g. Nottingham, York, Ulster, Cambridge, Roehampton, Eduardo Mondlane), intended to enhance research capacity and skills and promote integration within the project. A total of nine PhD studentships are being offered by project partners to candidates from East Africa. The PhD students will benefit from interacting with each other and from mentorship offered by project investigators. In this sense, the project aims to influence the creation of the next generation of researchers, building research capacity related to marine cultural heritage in the region, establishing it as an interdisciplinary field of research with major social, economic and cultural significance. The specific skills developed at BU will depend on the focus of the PhD research, and may include: GIS, regional analysis of global data, shoreline change analysis, fieldwork and remote sensing techniques,  in addition to collaborative work, interdisciplinary thinking, working in multicultural teams and environments.

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