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School of Geography

The importance of visual impact on public acceptance of renewable and non-conventional energy sources

Supervisors: Dr Steve Carver (Geography), Dr Martin Dallimer (Earth and Environment) and Dr Guy Ziv (Geography)

The ADVENT Project:

ADVENT (Addressing Valuation of Energy and Nature Together) is a 5 year research project funded by NERC as part of the RCUK Energy Programme.  It involves a consortium of seven partner institutions and aims to develop conceptual frameworks and modelling tools to integrate the analysis of prospective UK energy pathways with considerations relating to the value of natural capital.  This will include quantifying the implications of differing future UK low-carbon energy pathways for stocks of natural capital (e.g. groundwater and natural habitats) and for the provision of ecosystem services (e.g. irrigation, visual amenity, recreation).  In addition, the project will compare the outcomes of different methodologies to value changes in ecosystem services and provide guidelines regarding the application of such approaches.  Ultimately, the project seeks to provide both public and private sector decision makers with tools that allow them to take a whole-systems perspective on energy futures in a way that integrates energy and environmental considerations.

Developing future research capacity at the interface of energy and environmental research is an important objective of ADVENT.  To this end eight PhD studentships of 3-4 years duration are being funded from NERC and consortium partner resources.  The holders of these studentships will benefit from being part of a large research team and associated project activities, including a series of workshops to provide advanced research training.  ADVENT is also affiliated to the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) and the NERC Valuing Nature Programme so there will be opportunities to participate in events run by these initiatives. 

How to apply

Applicants should be in possession of at least a good honours degree in a relevant subject with strong quantitative skills, including some of spatial modelling, economic valuation and statistical analyses of complex datasets and should possess good GIS skills. In addition candidates could have an interest in participatory approaches and working with local communities. Full details on how to apply can be found at:  with further answers to FAQs at:

Deadline for applications:  11 January 2016 for a likely 1 October 2016 start.