The aim of this Fellowship is to develop the first detailed process understanding for how groundwater-surface water interactions (GSI) control indirect recharge in ephemeral stream catchments. Such research is urgently needed to underpin sustainable water resources management in the context of global change. A multidisciplinary approach will be taken to integrate innovative and detailed field monitoring and analysis of a study catchment in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, with state-of-the-art numerical modelling techniques to derive process understandings transferable to other catchments. The sensitivity of groundwater recharge to future scenarios of changing landuse, climate and groundwater abstraction will be assessed. The Fellow, Dr Mark Cuthbert, shows exceptional promise in becoming a leading scholar demonstrated by a wide range of publications in highly ranked journals, involvement in collaborative research projects, and strong leadership and project management skills. He will be based for the first 2 years of the Fellowship at the University of NSW, focusing mainly on field aspects of the research and training. He will benefit from working with internationally leading scholars in GSI research and have access to a unique range of world-class equipment, catchment infrastructure and technical expertise. Returning to the EU to work with the University of Birmingham, modelling components of the research will be developed, supported by the facilities and groundwater-surface water expertise within the internationally excellent Water Sciences research group. In addition to the fundamental scientific research, the Fellow will receive training in a range of field, analytical and modelling techniques as well as complementary research skills. The Fellowship will enable him to fulfil his goal of becoming a leading researcher in near-surface hydrogeology, based within an EU university and strengthen European competiveness in this area.
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