Oceanographic drivers of coral reef connectivity off northwestern Australia
A PhD scholarship is available to support a joint research project between the UWA Oceans Institute (http://www.oceans.uwa.edu.au/) at the University of Western Australia and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) (http://www.aims.gov.au/).
Off northwestern Australia, the dynamics governing ocean circulation and temperatures are thought to play critical roles in shaping a number of remote coral reef atolls. In particular, understanding links between atmospheric and ocean dynamics are needed to predict the environmental conditions that maintain these reef systems and how they may change in the future.
In recent decades, most coral reefs globally have experienced periods of thermal stress leading to mass bleaching. Large-scale climate modes of variability and local weather events have been found to impact the spatial and temporal patterns of warming. As a consequence, bleaching patterns for reefs across NW Australia have been highly variable. In addition, coral bleaching may impact the ecological connectivity between individual reefs, thus determining the capacity for reefs to recover following major disturbances. This project aims to address the oceanographic processes controlling connectivity at scales from within and among isolated coral reef systems off northwestern Australia.
We are seeking a PhD student with a focus in physical oceanography who will conduct research incorporating field observations and ocean modelling. This project is part of a broader multidisciplinary research program led by AIMS to examine the Spatial Dynamics of Isolated Coral Reef Atolls (specifically focusing on the reefs at Rowley Shoals and Scott Reef) and will be supported by considerable field resources and opportunities for shiptime.
A fully-funded PhD scholarship is available that includes an annual tax-free stipend of $30,000 (approx.). Qualified applicants who obtain an RTP scholarship (available for both domestic and international students) are eligible for a stipend of up to $35,000 p.a.
Applications are invited from both Australian and international students. Applicants should possess an Honours or Masters degree (or equivalent) in physical oceanography or a related field. Applicants with experience in ocean modelling and/or ocean-based field work are desirable.
Please send a cover letter describing your research interests and experience, a
CV and the names of two referees to both:
Professor Ryan Lowe, email: Ryan.Lowe@uwa.edu.au, and
Dr. Jessica Benthuysen, email J.Benthuysen@aims.gov.au
The closing date for applications is Friday, 22 September 2017.