York Law School and the Department of Environment and Geography are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate to join a team from York, the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH) and the University of Aberdeen working on a NERC-funded project ‘Impacts of Contamination from Legacy Waste sites on Seabirds’ (CLEWS). There is increasing recognition that disused waste disposal sites may represent an important source of pollutants into coastal environments. The occurrence of these pollutants in water and sediment can facilitate the entry of a complex mixture of toxicants into aquatic food chains that could negatively affect the health of species of high conservation concern. A risk assessment framework that establishes the importance of disused waste sites as a source of exposure to pollutants in coastal food chains is therefore urgently needed to support management decisions.
Using the European shag, a seabird that forages close to the coast and is highly exposed to chemicals, as our study species, the CLEWS project combines historical analyses of waste disposal practices with environmental monitoring and modelling to establish the transfer of chemical contaminants arising from disused waste sites through coastal marine food chains and the impacts of such exposures for populations of seabirds. We will use the results to develop a risk assessment framework that can be used alongside existing regulatory regimes for disused waste sites and coastal environments to mitigate any identified adverse impacts on coastal wildlife populations.
Working alongside a small team of environmental chemists, ecotoxicologists, ecologists and environmental lawyers, you will be responsible for translating the scientific results from the project into policy and impact. To achieve this, you will work with regulators, policy makers, business and NGOs with an interest in the waste and conservation sectors to identify and evaluate approaches for managing and/or regulating the impacts of chemicals arising from legacy waste sites on coastal systems and the potential barriers to adopting these approaches. The findings will be used to produce a toolkit for use by key stakeholders to develop future regulatory and policy interventions for the management of legacy waste sites.
Interview date: To be confirmed
For informal enquiries: please contact Professor Stuart Bell on email@example.com
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