Geography

Future changes in seasonal snowpack and impacts on spring and summer runoff in mountain areas

Research group:
Research group of hydrology

Research group leader:
Prof. RNDr. Jakub Langhammer, Ph.D., (jakub.langhammer@natur.cuni.cz)

PhD project supervisor:
RNDr. Michal Jeníček, Ph.D, (michal.jenicek@natur.cuni.cz)

Abstract:
Alpine catchments are largely influenced by snow, but it is expected that an increasing proportion of the precipitation will fall as rain in the future. Consequently, snow storage is expected to decrease, which, together with changes in snowmelt rates and timing, might cause reductions in spring and summer low flows.

Many studies show that changes in seasonal snowpack and their influence on annual/seasonal runoff are widely investigated. However, there is still limited information of how snowpack changes impact runoff extremes, such as low flows in the warm period and how this relation will change with predicted changes in air temperature and precipitation. Therefore, the objective of this phd project is 1) to quantify how long snowmelt affects runoff during warm period, 2) to simulate the effect of predicted increase in air temperature and thus decrease in snowfall fraction on spring and summer low flows and 3) to explain the role of catchment attributes on low flows sensitivity.

The project solution will combine statistical analysis of long-term observations from selected mountain catchments in central Europe. Modelling approaches will be used to simulate the effect of predicted climate change on snow and groundwater storage and consequent runoff (using results from regional climate models based on selected Representative Concentration Pathways). This enables to identify areas potentially affected by the mentioned future hydrological change.

Web site of research group:
http://hydro.natur.cuni.cz/


Reconstructing the central sector of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet

Research group:
Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology

Research group leader:
B. Janský (jansky.b@seznam.cz)

PhD project supervisor:
Martin Margold, (martin.margold@natgeo.su.se)

Abstract:
The Cordilleran Ice Sheet covered the mountain ranges of western Canada during the Pleistocene cold periods and attained a volume and area similar to present-day Greenland Ice Sheet. It formed an obstacle in the migration of species, including humans, from Beringia to the Americas and thus the timing of its build-up and retreat is of importance for palaeoecology and archaeology. However, the central sector of the ice sheet in northern British Columbia and southern Yukon Territory belongs to the least studied portions of any ephemeral Pleistocene ice sheets and little is known about the timing of its build-up and the pattern and the exact timing of its retreat. This project will use newly available high-resolution digital elevation models to reconstruct the dynamics and the pattern of retreat of the central sector of the ice sheet in the mountains of northern Canada. Quantitative dating techniques will be employed to establish the onset of glaciation as well as its demise. The project will be carried out in collaboration with Prof. Duane Froese at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, and the PhD candidate will have the opportunity to spend part of their time in Edmonton.

Web site of research group:
https://www.natur.cuni.cz/geography/physgeo/margold


Rapid wastage of the northwestern Laurentide Ice Sheet as the main contribution to the Meltwater Pulse 1A

Research group:
Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology

Research group leader:
B. Janský (jansky.b@seznam.cz)

PhD project supervisor:
Martin Margold, (martin.margold@natgeo.su.se)

Abstract:
The highest rate of sea level rise from the last glacial lowstand occurred during the Meltwater Pulse 1A (MWP-1A; 14.65-14.31 cal ka). The source of this rapid sea level rise (~15 m in ~300 years) must have been a rapid melt or collapse of one or multiple ice sheets but the main contributor has thus far remained unclear. Recent numerical modelling indicates that a collapse of the saddle connecting the North American Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets with extreme melt rates at the northern slopes of the saddle might have been the largest source of the MWP-1A. This project will aim to quantify the amount and rate of ice mass loss in the NW sector of the Laurentide Ice Sheet during the MWP-1A. Ice margin positions will be mapped and dated by cosmogenic isotopes. Meltwater channels will be dated and their discharge calculated. Ice mass loss will be calculated from empirical equations for ice surface profiles. The aim will be to identify the main source of the highest rate of sea level rise ever documented. The project will be carried out in collaboration with Prof. Duane Froese at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, and the PhD candidate will have the opportunity to spend part of their time in Edmonton.

Web site of research group:
https://www.natur.cuni.cz/geography/physgeo/margold


Impact of border processes on socioeconomic development in border regions in Central Europe

Research group:
Economic Geography and Regional Development Centre

Research group leader:
Assoc. Prof. Jiří Blažek, Ph.D., (jiri.blazek@natur.cuni.cz)

PhD project supervisor:
Assist. Prof. Pavlína Netrdová, Ph.D., (pavlina.netrdova@natur.cuni.cz)

Abstract:
The process of economic and political integration in Europe implied fundamental changes in the nature of EU’s internal and external borders. The project aims to study the changing nature of state borders and its impact on regional development and socioeconomic performance of border regions. The main research questions are: What are the effects of bordering processes on socioeconomic development in different border regions? What are the determinants of these potentially heterogeneous effects? What are the underlying mechanisms behind the socioeconomic changes in border regions and what role do the regional key actors play?

The empirical research focuses on border regions in the Central European region (Czechia, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Germany, Austria,) which were affected by the changing nature of borders due to major institutional changes following the fall of the Iron Curtain and European integration process. Theoretically, the project builds upon the latest contributions to theories of regional development. Methodologically, quantitative and qualitative methods are combined in order to integrate the analysis of macro-level impacts of the changing nature of borders on the socioeconomic performance of border regions with the micro-level perspective represented by perceptions of key agents on the role and effects of borders.

Web site of research group:
https://www.natur.cuni.cz/geography/department-of-social-geography-and-regional-development/spurna


Sustainability of sanitation behaviour change in low- and middle-income countries

Research group:
Economic Geography and Regional Development

Research group leader:
Jiří Blažek, (blazek@natur.cuni.cz)

PhD project supervisor:
Josef Novotný, (pepino@natur.cuni.cz)

Abstract:
The estimated 2.4 billion of people globally still lack access to an improved sanitation facility. A sanitation target was included but not achieved in the MDGs, and the subsequent SDGs include an ambitious target to eliminate open defecation worldwide and ensure the entire world population has access to adequate sanitation by 2030. This project will focus specifically on factors and processes underlying the sustainability of sanitation behaviour change in low- and middle-income countries. It will adopt a contextually-sensitive perspective to investigate sanitation dynamics within a broader WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) nexus. It has an ambition to bridge two distinct perspectives in current sanitation research including the focus on micro-level behavioural and infrastructural determinants (predominant in public-health research) and on the structural political-economy and political-ecology drivers of sanitation change (as in recent critical sanitation research). The research will consist of both field research following up on our previous work in India and Ethiopia and desk research including work on projects’ proposals and reviews. Candidates with strong interdisciplinary capabilities eager to combine social- and environmental-science approaches and methodologies are particularly welcome.

Web site of research group:
https://web.natur.cuni.cz/~pepino/


Contemporary changes of social milieu within the post-socialist suburbs

Research group:
Urban and Regional Laboratory – URRlab, Department of Social Geography and Regional Development

Research group leader:
Assoc. Prof. Martin Ouředníček, (martin.ourednicek@natur.cuni.cz)

Abstract:
The project focuses on the changes in the social milieu within the hinterlands of post-socialist European cities. First, addressing the scope of suburbanization in the settlement system and changes of social, demographic and ethnic structure of the suburban population over the past decade. The analysis based on statistical evidence of migration pays particular attention to test hypotheses concerning (i) growing ethnic heterogeneity of suburbs within the CEE countries; and (ii) the return of suburban residents back to the urban environment (reurbanisation). The project also uses comparative perspective and will investigate Czech and selected post-socialist European suburbs with the similar methods of evaluation. The quantitative analyses focused on demographic and socio-economic composition will employ statistical data from the Population Censuses and individual migration data. The case studies of the oldest post-socialist suburbs developed immediately after the 1989 will serve as a comparative base for investigation of stability/mobility of suburban population and sustainable and cohesive development of suburbs. The theme of the projects reacts on the Goal 11 “Sustainable Cities and Communities” of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, specifically to “support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, suburban and rural areas”.

Web site of research group:
http://urrlab.cz/en/
http://urrlab.cz/sites/default/files/urrlab_vizitka.pdf


Public food procurement in Czechia: from theory to practice

Research group:
GeoQol

Research group leader:
Prof. RNDr. Dagmar Dzúrová, CSc.

PhD project supervisor:
Doc. RNDr. Jana Spilková, Ph.D.

Abstract:
Public food procurement is gaining a lot of interest in the literature and research. It promotes the creation of bounded markets for small farmers (localization of food, rural development) while it may also strengthen access to adequate food (health/nutritional, cultural and right based discourses of consumption). It also enables to study complex patterns of interaction and organization linking food systems actors at multiple levels and scales, and should result in food democracy to gain its place in policy making, governance, procurement and food supplying practices. Mainly large cities represent both opportunities for scaling up and bottlenecks for small farmers to supply food. They can support the idea of public procurement through food strategies creative tendering processes and diverse programs (farm to school) and farmers, on the other hand rediscover the value of cooperatives, short circuits and other forms of cooperation.

This project should study the theory and practice of public food procurement in Czechia. It focuses on different histories of public food procurement agenda setting, governance structures and processes designed to enable change. It aims to reveal how different practices of procuring, supplying and consuming might lead to new perspectives or political action for sustainable food systems and food democracy.

Web site of research group:
http://geoqol.natur.cuni.cz

 


Geodemographic aspects of the take-up and provision of selected healthcare services in Czechia for selected groups of patients

Research group:
Center for Population Forecasting and Applied Demography

Research group leader:
RNDr. Boris Burcin, Ph.D., (boris.burcin@gmail.com)

PhD project supervisor:
RNDr. Luděk Šídlo, Ph.D., (ludek.sidlo@natur.cuni.cz)

Abstract:
The main aim of the project is to analyze demographic and regional differences in the take-up and provision of selected outpatient healthcare services (they are considered diabetes, cardiology and psychiatry patients), capturing development over time and producing forecasts of the future number and structure of patients and healthcare service providers, with the effort to put the results into international comparison. The candidate should have skills in advanced demographic analytical and forecasting methods, as well as working with GIS tools, and basic principles in the functioning of the area of the take-up and provision of health services. Research will be based on using data from the largest Czech health insurance company and on application of multivariate methods, which will be universal and usable even outside the Czech health system. The project being sought to create outputs, not only in the form of specialized articles, but also in the form of specialist maps and modelled projections. These results will be used also by the main actors in the field of healthcare in Czechia as the basis for formulating decisions on policy and strategy regarding the growing demand for these selected healthcare services caused by the demographic ageing of the Czech population. 

The project proposal is in line with the UN's sustainable development goals – SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages and SDG 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries.

Web site of research group:
https://www.natur.cuni.cz/geography/department-of-demography-and-geodemography/science-and-research/research-groups/basic-info?set_language=en