PhD Studentship: Multiscale Mathematical Modelling of Water Movement in Ridged Plant Systems

Ref: EngSci-BIO-110

Deadline: Applications will be accepted at any time until the position is filled 

The aim of this project is to produce a working model of soil water movement in ridged cropping systems such as used in potato farming. Current modelling practice for ground and surface water assumes that the soil is a plane surface. Recent opinions by EFSA on groundwater modelling (EFSA 2013) has proposed a six-fold safety factor be applied when extrapolating modelling results from planar surfaces to ridged systems such as potatoes. In addition EFSA has differentiated between normal tillage and ridged systems for calculation of soil PEC (EFSA 2012). Irrigation has also been identified as an area where current modelling does not adequately represent the potential for exposure, particularly for drip irrigation where, once more EFSA have proposed stringent extrapolation factors for exposure in these systems (EFSA 2012). 2 and 3-dimensional modelling offers the prospect of estimating exposure from non-standard irrigation and tillage practices and thereby challenging the imposition of conservative safety factors applied to these systems by regulators.

Accurate prediction of uptake of pesticides and water into plants will be a key factor in estimating risk in ridged systems and will necessarily have to have a spatial element included in the models. The aim of this project is to develop multiscale mathematical models to estimate uptake of chemicals into plants using state of the art mathematical modelling and computational tools in conjunction with computer simulations.

Also Read  2-year postdoc or 3-year PhD-student position

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact to Prof Tiina Roose (Faculty of Engineering and the Environment ( or Prof Paul Sweeney Syngenta (

To apply, please use the apply button below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *