Find a project

Search for a project below by browsing key research opportunities in each of the Cabot Institute's vibrant research communities: 

Environmental Change, Low Carbon Energy, City Futures, Food Security, Natural Hazard and Disaster Risk, Water.

Alternatively you can browse projects by Faculty.

Want to undertake research in a different area? We welcome applications from candidates with their own, original research proposals. Please identify suitable research supervisor(s) from our expert directory and contact them directly, except if the supervisor's school is the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies (SPAIS), in which case please contact the PGR Team direct on cabot-pgr@bristol.ac.uk.

Once they agree to become your supervisor(s), we are happy to accept your application.

Find out about many other exciting examples of research conducted at the University of Bristol.

Index of projects
Title and descriptionHosted byTheme cat

Sustainability and Football – in partnership with Pledgeball

NEW PROJECT:  Research on climate change and football is an emerging area of knowledge, and students working with the Cabot Institute and Pledgeball as part of this research cluster will be at the forefront of new research. This opportunity will appeal to students who are passionate about sport or football and its potential to act as a mobilising force for community action. You will have the opportunity to develop your own research question within the scope of your chosen research area.

  Show all;Environmental Change

Artificial Intelligence for Environmental Remote Sensing

The latest developments in artificial intelligence (AI), in particular deep learning (DL), have gained tremendous interest in the field of remote sensing. We are inviting students to propose an idea linking to this theme/challenge area.

School of Geographical Sciences

Supervisor: Ce Zhang 

Show all;Environmental Change

Whole life carbon of buildings and machine learning

NEW PROJECT: Working in collaboration with Hoare Lea this project will develop a real-time decision-support tool that can reliably inform practitioners about the whole life carbon of buildings at the early stages of concept design. The tool will rely on developing a surrogate model based on current advances in machine learning and available datasets. Of key importance is the review of different Machine learning algorithms and different LCA databases to provide reliable predictions.

Department of Civil Engineering

Supervisor: Eleni Toumpanaki

Co-Supervisor: Andrew Shea, Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, University of Bath
Show all;Environmental Change

Carbon management - Future ways of working and greenhouse gas emissions

NEW PROJECT: Working in collaboration with Hoare Lea the aim of this project is to examine the relationship between future ways of working and greenhouse gas emissions using a case study of an office-based company and its employees. Interdisciplinary in nature, it will require numerical skills to analyse GHG emissions data and survey data. It will also engage with qualitative and critical social science disciplines to shed light on the politics of emissions accounting.

Department of Computer Science

Supervisor: Chris Priest
Co-Supervisor: Ola Michalec
Show all;Low Carbon Energy

Can we reduce Nitrous Oxide emissions from grasslands by inoculating them with rhizobia?

NEW PROJECT: This project will investigate the potential of clover-rhizobia associations to mitigate N2O emissions by isolating native grassland rhizobia strains to investigate the presence of the N2O-reducing genotype.

School of Geographical Sciences

Supervisor: Fotis Sgouridis,
Supervisor: Chris Williamson
Supervisor: Gary Barker

 

Show all;Environmental Change

 What is the future of mountain glaciers?

This project is a follow-on from the ERC grant GlobalMass (www.globalmass.eu) that has advanced the use of space-time statistical inference to separate global sea level rise into its different sources. We have developed a software package called 4DModeller (see https://4dmodeller.github.io/fdmr/) that is designed to tackle a wide range of spatial-temporal problems.  

School of Geographical Sciences

Supervisor: Jonathan Bamber
Co-Supervisor: John Aiken, 
University Oslo and Expert Analytics, Norway.
Show all;Environmental Change

Solar Thermal/Thermionic Energy Converters

This project is a collaboration between Physics, Chemistry and the newly formed School of Electrical, Electronic and Mechanical Engineering whereby nanostructured surfaces will be optimised for solar absorption, thermal emissivity and electron emission with the use of nanocrystalline diamond.

School of Electrical, Electronic and Mechanical Engineering

Supervisor: Martin Cryan
Co-Supervisor: Hind Saidani-Scott

 

Show all;Low Carbon Energy

How does exposure to multiple anthropogenic stressors influence bumblebee behaviour?

This project will investigate how exposure to multiple anthropogenic stressors (e.g. pesticides, poor nutrition, climate change) influences bumblebee behaviour. The project can be either laboratory or field based and the student will be encouraged to drive the specific research question they are interested in.

School of Biological Sciences

Supervisor: Harry Siviter
Co-Supervisor: Christoph Grueter

Show all;Environmental Change

Quantifying the impact of pesticide exposure through soil on bumblebees

This project will determine the impact of exposure to pesticides through soil on ground nesting bumblebees. The project will be largely laboratory based but there are opportunities for field research at Fenswood farm.

School of Biological Sciences

Supervisor: Harry Siviter
Co-Supervisor: Christoph Grueter

Show all;Environmental Change

Improving global biodiversity indicators to measure anthropogenic impacts on our changing world

This project will work on developments to the Living Planet Index – one of the most important biodiversity indicators globally, and has the potential to improve our estimates of biodiversity change across the planet, with opportunities to feed this work into future global assessments. 

School of Biological Sciences

Supervisor: Chris Clements 

Show all;Environmental Change

PV Panels Efficiency Improvement

This project will use passive methods to reduce the surrounding temperature and increase efficiency of pv panels.

School of Electrical, Electronic and Mechanical Engineering

Supervisor: Hind Saidani-Scott
Co-Supervisor: Bethan Charles
Show all;Low Carbon Energy

Living Through Fuel Poverty: Archival Analysis as a Call for Change

This project will involve detailed qualitative archival research, to make visible the experiences of fuel poverty over time and space. Rich available testimonies will illuminate how fuel poverty has affected people across their lives, in different areas, and from different demographic groups.

School of Geographical Sciences

Supervisor: Jennifer Crane
Co-Supervisor: Caitlin Robinson
Show all;Low Carbon Energy

Investigating the effects of wet leaves on the terrestrial carbon cycle

In this MScR you will use freely available flux data from contrasting ecosystems, modelling and data analysis techniques to examine how important wet canopies are to our understanding of plant photosynthesis.

School of Geographical Sciences

Supervisor: Rodolfo Nobrega
Co-Supervisor: Martin De Kauwe
Show all;Environmental Change

Advancing sustainable decentralised energy systems

The purpose of this research is to explore the strategic emergence of innovative distributed energy systems and smart consumers which underpins a radical departure away from unsustainable conventional energy systems. 

Faculty of Engineering

Supervisor: Hadi Abulrub
Co-Supervisor: Chris McMahon 
Show all;Low Carbon Energy

Understanding the effects of root surface structure on root-soil cohesion  

This project aims to disentangle the effects of soil-binding root secretions and friction-enhancing root surface topography.

School of Biological Sciences

Supervisor: Claire Grierson
Co-Supervisor: Ulrike Bauer

 

Show all;Environmental Change

The value of decadal forecasts to improve resilience of water supply

You will contribute to a novel area of climate services as well as have the opportunity to collaborate with scientists in the Faculty of Engineering as well as the Met Office. The project will also develop your network with commercial organisations as you will be interacting closely with water industry partners to ensure useful and usable outcomes.

Faculty of Engineering

Supervisor: Fai Fung
Co-Supervisor: Francesca Pianosi
 Show all;Water

Light-powered photocatalytic coatings for environmental remediation

The project is aimed at developing highly efficient and durable photocatalytic coatings based on a low-temperature ceramic coating system incorporated with TiO2/2D nanosheets heterojunctions.

Bristol Dental School

Supervisor: Bo Su
Co-Supervisor: Nihal Bandara
Show all;Environmental Change

Climate change's impact on extreme European rainfall

You will have the opportunity to learn how to analyse climate model simulations, including understanding extreme weather events. You will also get the chance to work with atmospheric scientists and hydrologists and develop rare interdisciplinary expertise, building links with our Met Office partner.

School of Geographical Sciences

Supervisor: Peter Watson
Co-Supervisor: Gemma Coxon
Show all;Environmental Change

Design and construction of compartmentalised biomimetic microreactors for CO2 capture

The research program will develop synthetic methods to construct microcompartments capable of hosting the enzyme cascade reactions and establish a protocol for the fabrication of microreactors based devices.

School of Chemistry

Supervisor: Avinash Patil

Show all;Environmental Change

Listening to the world through French environmental documentary

This project offers the chance to study representations of the natural world on screen from the unique perspective of the listener. You will analyse a selection of French environmental documentaries through a focus on sensory perception, examining how our listening inform our awareness of different habitats and life forms and increases our sensitivity towards the natural environment.

School of Modern Languages

Supervisor: Albertine Fox

Show all;Environmental Change

This body, this earth: the human landscape of mining in narrative and visual culture (1850-1900)

This interdisciplinary project explores how nineteenth-century literature and visual culture in France, in the age of 'carboniferous capitalism' (Asa Briggs), can help us understand the capacity and the agency of the human body.

School of Modern Languages

Supervisor: Susan Harrow

Show all;Environmental Change

Restoring the 3D Structure of Tropical Ecosystems - How Important is Tree Diversity?

This project will use cutting-edge airborne LiDAR acquired over the Sabah Biodiversity Experiment in Malaysian Borneo to test whether planting a diverse mixture of tree species leads to a faster recovery of canopy 3D structural complexity and carbon stocks.

School of Biological Sciences

Supervisor: Tommaso Jucker
Co-Supervisor: Andrew Hector
Show all;Environmental Change

The Radical Pacific : Artistic activism and experimentation on the Chilean Coast

In this project, you will explore how filmmakers, street artists and other creative practitioners on Chile's central coast, and especially in the port city of Valparaíso, have developed avant-garde responses to the inescapable and occasionally threatening presence of the Pacific Ocean in the 20th and 21st centuries.

School of Modern Languages

Supervisor: Paul Merchant

Show all;Environmental Change

Lifestyles of extremophiles: understanding nutrient and energy flows through the cryosphere

This project will examine the cellular stoichiometry of a range of psychrophilic algal lineages relative to key abiotic stressors, to produce a robust understanding of their stoichiometric homeostasis across environmental regimes.

School of Geographical Sciences

Co-Supervisor: Fotis Sgouridis
Show all;Environmental Change

Understanding how multiple stressors impact ecological communities

This project will investigate how stressors such as climatic change, overharvesting and habitat fragmentation may interact to alter the extinction risk of species in small-scale experiments, and what measures might be implemented to reduce the risk of species extinctions.

School of Biological Sciences

Supervisor: Chris Clements

Show all;Environmental Change

Renewable energy in the UK: connecting pasts and futures

This project proposes research on the history of renewable energies in the UK, to connect current and future policy-making with knowledge of how renewables industries have developed, learnt and adapted.

Department of History

Supervisor: Marianna Dudley

Show all;Low Carbon Energy

Skills shortage assessment and training provision for local energy projects

This project will undertake a qualitative and quantitative research to identify what skills are currently under-provisioned for in the UK energy sector and what training needs to be provided to fill in these "skills shortage" for successful transition to renewable-based energy system.

Department of Computer Science

Supervisor: Ruzanna Chitchyan

Show all;Low Carbon Energy

Aeroelastic design and optimisation of wind turbine blades

Our research focuses on the integrated and holistic aeroelastic design and optimisation of blades, which remain key research areas for the development of the next generation of wind turbines.

Faculty of Engineering

Supervisor: Terence Macquart

Show all;Low Carbon Energy

Assessing sustainability impact of software systems

This project will design empirical studies to assess the sustainability impact of a software system, consider the suitable quantification metrics for the environmental, societal, economic, and political impact of software systems, and undertake evaluation for a few sample case studies to demonstrate the proposed impact assessment approach.

Department of Computer Science

Supervisor: Ruzanna Chitchyan

Show all;Low Carbon Energy

Wind turbines for developing countries

This project will explore design concepts and manufacturing methods, using case study countries in the developing world, to provide realistic design constraints. It will also explore the financial schemes that might be necessary to help promote the widespread manufacture and deployment of turbines with maximum social and economic benefits.

Faculty of EngineeringDept of AerospaceLaw School

Supervisors: Paul Harper; Colin Nolden;
Co-Supervisor: Ben Woods
Show all;Low Carbon Energy

Micro Hydropower Systems for Developing Countries

This project will support ongoing work in Nepal by addressing both the engineering and socio-economic challenges in promoting the widespread manufacture and deployment of turbines with maximum benefits to the local population.

Faculty of Engineering, Law School

Supervisor: Sam Williamson
Co-Supervisors: Paul Harper, Colin Nolden
Show all;Low Carbon Energy

Machine Learning for Wind Flow Modelling

Wind-flow models are key tools in describing how a wind resource varies across a wind farm project area. Models include linear models and more complex CFD models. We propose an alternative machine learning (ML) data-based model. The ML model will provide the wind industry with a tool that is computationally quick, easy to use, opensource based and delivers reliably accurate wind speed and energy estimates.

Faculty of Engineering

Supervisor: Paul Harper
Co-Supervisor: Ervin Bossanyi
Show all;Low Carbon Energy

Machine Learning for Wind Farm Control

It is possible that the use of machine learning algorithms could provide a practical approach to the optimization of performance of wind farms on a project scale. We want to adapt largely autonomous data-driven new control strategies for wind turbines based on existing sensor information to optimize wind farm scale performance.

Faculty of Engineering

Supervisor: Paul Harper
Co-Supervisor: Ervin Bossanyi
Show all;Low Carbon Energy

Sustainable business travel in a low carbon economy

For post-Covid-19 organisational practices: what is the future of business travel in the socially and environmentally responsible organisation.

School of Economics, Finance and Management

Supervisor: Jonathan Beaverstock

Show all;Low Carbon Energy

Turning sunlight into fuels: discovery of new catalysts for renewable energies

This project will create new organic functional materials to address current challenges in renewable energies, such as the use of electricity or light to power chemical transformations. 

Faculty of EngineeringSchool of Chemistry

Supervisor: Sebastien Rochat

Show all;Low Carbon Energy

Nanostructured Excitonic Superconductors

We hope to create the first superconductor that operates using an excitonic mechanism, which should be able to work at room temperature and pressure.

School of Chemistry

Supervisor: Simon Hall

Show all;Low Carbon Energy

Superconductivity in 3D

We have some very interesting avenues to explore in order to find such a material, one of which is to combine a metal organic framework with a nanostructured carbon molecule in order to create proximity-induced superconductivity. A crystal of this composite material has never been tested as a superconductor, so this project will make and test one and report on the superconducting properties.

School of Chemistry

Supervisor: Simon Hall

Show all;Low Carbon Energy

Energy storage with the use of phase change materials

The aim of this project is to look at the chemistry of existing phase change materials and to develop new, cheaper materials for specific engineering applications.

School of Electrical, Electronic & Mechanical EngineeringSchool of Chemistry

Supervisor: Hind Saidani-Scott
Co-Supervisor: Neil Allan
Show all;Low Carbon Energy

Learning framework for sustainability

The key aim of the project is to support learning and spread of sustainability-enabling practices and patters in engineering socio-technical systems.

Department of Computer Science

Supervisor: Ruzanna Chitchyan

Show all;City Futures

Paris and the built environment 1850-1900: an interdisciplinary project

How can the built environment in nineteenth-century literature and visual culture in France help us understand today's environmental pressures and possibilities? Exploring Impressionist art, novels by Emile Zola, and a range of critical thought on cultural and material modernisation, this project will ask how textual and visual culture of the past can help us understand more deeply our present and, perhaps, our future.

School of Modern Languages

Supervisor: Susan Harrow

Show all;City Futures

Validating apparent urban areas

The project will take novel urban boundaries developed by Wolf & Fox from remote sensing data and examine how coherent the boundaries are with respect to alternative data sources, such as twitter activity or daily movement and commute patterns.

School of Geographical Sciences

Supervisor: Levi Wolf
Co-Supervisor: Sean Fox
Show all;City Futures

A comparative study of cycling cultures: Bristol-Bordeaux

This project explores the history of the so-called cycling revival in these twin cities and will offer a cultural understanding of the successes and failures of both. It will equally suggest a way forward for Bristol, exploring cycling's capacity to combat two immediate crises facing our city: overcrowded roads and poor health.

School of Modern Languages

Supervisor: Martin Hurcombe

Show all;City Futures

Assessing sustainability impact of software systems

This project will design empirical studies to assess the sustainability impact of a software system, consider the suitable quantification metrics for the environmental, societal, economic, and political impact of software systems, and undertake evaluation for a few sample case studies to demonstrate the proposed impact assessment approach.

Department of Computer Science

Supervisor: Ruzanna Chitchyan

Show all;City Futures

Building for the future

The project is about designing the future house, based on the existing and perhaps not yet - novel technology which should be introduced.

School of Electrical, Electronic & Mechanical EngineeringDepartment of Civil Engineering

Supervisor: Hind Saidani-Scott
Co-Supervisor: Neil Carhart
Show all;City Futures

Artificial intelligence for environmental monitoring

This project will expand and explore the capacity for CNNs to be used in real-time environmental monitoring of UK freshwater systems.

School of Geographical Sciences

Co-Supervisor: Levi Wolf
Show all;Water

Testing and cleaning water with fluorescent polymers

This project aims to demonstrate sensing properties of PIMs, and to show that they outperform similar small molecules. Proving the advantageous sensing properties of PIMs will pave the way to new applications of these materials in monitoring of liquid or air-based samples, for example for environment monitoring or public safety.

School of ChemistryFaculty of Engineering

Supervisor: Sebastien Rochat

Show all;Water

Machine learning for weather and climate extremes

You will have the opportunity to learn how to analyse weather and climate simulations and to train machine learning algorithms to produce a scientifically useful tool. This will give you very valuable expertise in both weather and climate science and AI. We would also expect there to be involvement with external partners that we work with, including the Met Office and other universities, providing an opportunity to make further links with the community of researchers and users.

School of Geographical SciencesDepartment of Computer Science

Supervisor: Peter Watson
Co-Supervisor: Laurence Aitchison
Show all;Environmental Change

Contact:

Email our Cabot MScR Team to discuss your ambitions in more detail:

cabot-masters@bristol.ac.uk

I chose the Cabot Institute for their commitment to tackling key environmental issues across a range of disciplines. Their large community of researchers has offered unique opportunities for collaboration and the interdisciplinary approach has provided new insights that have proved invaluable for my research.

ANNA WEATHERLEY, COHORT 2021/22
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