Pharmaceuticals can enter agricultural environments through the application of animal manures and sewage sludge or through irrigation of land with wastewater effluent. Given that these molecules are designed to be biologically active, the is increasing concern that they could be negatively affecting the health of soil organisms such as plants and invertebrates as well as higher organisms such as birds and mammals that are exposed through the food chain.
In this project, you would perform laboratory investigations to understand the sorption behaviour, persistence and uptake of a range of commonly-used pharmaceuticals in agricultural environments. The results will be used to develop a new model for estimating the exposure of birds and bats to pharmaceutical residues in soil systems. It is our expectation that this model will be used in the future to help assess the potential environmental risks of new active pharmaceutical ingredients.
The project is based in the Environment and Geography Department under the supervision of Alistair Boxall. Alistair’s team have an international reputation in understanding the occurrence, fate and effects of pharmaceuticals in the natural environment. The team has access to World-class facilities for analysing pharmaceuticals in water, soils and biota (including LC-MS-MS, non-targeted MS) and for experimental fate and effects studies (including controlled environment rooms).
The PhD is part of the Innovative Medicines Initiative PREMIER project. The PREMIER project brings together a world-leading multi-disciplinary consortium composed of 25 partners from the public and private sectors working to contribute to a sustainable future by proactively managing the environmental impact of medicines. The successful applicant will be expected to participate in PREMIER project meetings and workshops thus providing opportunities for international travel and for interacting with key stakeholders.
Applicants should have a first or upper second-class honours degree or a Masters qualification in Environmental Science, Chemistry, Biology, Ecology or similar. Only Home students are eligible for funding.
If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please contact Professor Alistair Boxall by email at [email protected]
How to apply
Information on how to apply can be found at: https://www.york.ac.uk/environment/postgraduate/mphil-phd/#tab-3
Using the online application form, you should select PhD in Environmental Science and make clear that your application is for this PhD under the supervision of Professor Boxall. You will need to include a CV and supporting references with your application.
The closing date for applications is 12 noon on 1st June 2022. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview by the end of June 2022. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received a response within six weeks of the closing date should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.
The studentship is supported for 3 years and includes full Home tuition fees plus a stipend of £16,062 per annum (2022/23 rate).