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Two PhD opportunities on megadrought risk

University of Melbourne and Monash University, Australia

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We are seeking two motivated candidates for PhD projects in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne and the School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment at Monash University.

These projects are part of a funded 3-year Australian Research Council Linkage project, Megadrought likelihood and its water resource impacts in Australia, involving industry partners from leading Australian water authorities and the Bureau of Meteorology.

PROJECT 1: Megadrought likelihood and its water resource impacts in Australia
This cross-disciplinary project will bridge the gap between fundamental research and practical applications in Science and Engineering. It will use palaeoclimate reconstructions, observational and climate model data to quantify severe drought risk. It will provide the candidate with opportunities to directly engage with leading researchers and practitioners in the fields of climate science, palaeoclimatology and hydrology/water resources engineering. The successful candidate will have opportunities to travel and present their work at national and international conferences, and will form strong links with industry.

Project contacts: Prof David Karoly (dkaroly@unimelb.edu.au) and Dr Ben Henley (bhenley@unimelb.edu.au)

PROJECT 2: The simulation of megadrought risk in climate models
This project will examine the ability of climate models to simulate megadrought risk in Australia. The project will include characterising megadrought in coupled climate models, identifying systematic biases and determining links to large scale ocean-atmosphere processes.

Project contacts: Dr Ailie Gallant (ailie.gallant@monash.edu) and Dr Ben Henley (bhenley@unimelb.edu.au)

Graduates with a strong background in hydrology, water resources engineering, atmospheric science, climate science, oceanography, physical geography, physics or mathematics are encouraged to apply. Applicants with multi-disciplinary backgrounds are particularly encouraged to apply. Applicants must have a very strong academic track record (Honours Class I, or equivalent), a passion for science and a strong motivation to develop practical solutions to grand challenges.

Send your expression of interest to the project contacts, containing your:
    1. CV
    2. Academic transcripts
    3. Copies of any publications
    4. A short statement describing why you are interested in this research project
If your expression of interest is accepted you will be invited to apply for an Australian Government or equivalent University PhD scholarship. Non-Australian residents will also be required to apply for a fee-waiver scholarship for this appointment.

A top-up scholarship of $5000 p/a will also be offered with further funds available for travel and computing support.

Applications close: 16 October, 2015

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Project Investigators: Prof David Karoly : Dr Murray Peel : Dr Jöelle Gergis : Dr Ailie Gallant : Assoc Prof Rory Nathan : Dr Ben Henley

Project Summary: This interdisciplinary project assembles a world class team of hydrologists, climate scientists and water managers to investigate the history and future risk of decadal to multidecadal droughts (megadroughts). Despite Australia’s vulnerability to water scarcity, the likelihood of persistent megadroughts has not been assessed in Australia. This has resulted in inadequate capacity to prepare for and adapt to megadrought under future climate change. For the first time, palaeoclimate reconstructions and climate change projections will be used to constrain future hydroclimatic variability, advancing the decision-making capacity of leading Australian water resource managers.

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Created: 16 Sept 2015
Last Modified: 16 Sept 2015
Access: Unrestricted
Author: Murray Peel
Maintainer: mpeel@unimelb.edu.au
Disclaimer: This page, its contents and style, are the responsibility of the author and do not necessarily represent the views, policies or opinions of The University of Melbourne