Research Scholarships 2020 - 2021, Southern Cross University, Australia


October 18, 2020

Opportunity Cover Image - Research Scholarships 2020 - 2021, Southern Cross University, Australia

Research Scholarships

Scholarships offered through the Graduate School at Southern Cross University are underpinned by three key factors.

Graduate School scholarships form part of Southern Cross University’s overall suite of scholarships  – including many postgraduate scholarships  – offered thanks to our generous private donors, government and industry groups, other stakeholders, and the University itself.

Two PhD scholarships are offered to join a team investigating methods to reduce coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef

We are seeking high performing PhD candidates for research projects which investigate various technologies with potential to reduce bleaching stress on corals during marine heatwaves. The candidates will be supervised by Dr Daniel Harrison (Southern Cross University) and depending on the project, co-supervised either within Southern Cross University and/or by researchers at the University of Sydney, Queensland University of Technology, Sydney Institute of Marine Science, University of Melbourne, CSIRO, Monash University, or the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 

The Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP) is a large-scale collaborative research and development program to develop, test and assess innovative interventions to enhance reef resilience and sustain ecological functions and values. The Cooling and Shading sub-program is focused on evaluation and development of interventions to reduce coral bleaching stress across multiple scales, ranging from individual high value reefs right up to the scale of the entire GBR ecosystem. This program incorporates fundamental science on atmospheric – radiation – ocean – coral interactions as well as applied science and engineering in the development and testing of innovative coral conservation approaches. Possible interventions we are researching include creating sea fogs, reflective ocean surface films, or microbubbles to cool and shade corals for short periods right through to conducting marine cloud brightening over large portions of the reef during the summer to increase cloud reflectivity and lower ocean sea-surface temperatures. Modelling undertaken during the RRAP feasibility stage has identified large-scale cooling and shading methods as among the most promising prospective technologies for improving the trajectory of reef health over the coming decades if accompanied by strong global emissions reductions. However, for any of these ideas to move from concept to implementation, the engineering feasibility, efficacy, benefits, risks, and costs must be comprehensively evaluated.

The PhD projects will each focus on one of the following research areas, with scope for additional related research within the sub-program or wider RRAP program:

  1. Atmospheric and ocean sampling from manned and unmanned aircraft to answer fundamental science questions around atmospheric - ocean processes over the reef and support the development of atmospheric-based bleaching interventions.
  2. Engineering systems research and development of sub-micron seawater spray generation equipment required to conduct real-world field testing of the marine cloud brightening concept. This includes design work, laboratory, land based and at sea field testing.
  1. Using regional and global atmospheric and ocean models to assess both the potential benefits and risks of engineering strategies for coral ecosystem conservation.
  2. Combining field measurements, satellite remote sensed data sets and ocean biogeochemical modelling of the Great Barrier Reef to investigate the impact of atmospheric processes on coral mass bleaching events and the locations where cooling and shading interventions can best be targeted.

Successful PhD candidates will be based at the National Marine Science Centre (NMSC), located in Coffs Harbour. As well as a world-class research facility, the NMSC is adjacent to awesome surf beaches, spectacular rainforest and the stunning Solitary Islands Marine Park. You will have the opportunity to work on a large multi-million-dollar 4 year research project with a ground-breaking international team that has a strong record of world first achievements. For example our team includes engineers that designed the “Deepsea Challenger” a manned submersible piloted by film director James Cameron to the deepest part of the ocean, the team which currently holds the world record for the longest hybrid multi rotor ‘drone’ flight at over 8 hours, and the researchers that conducted the world’s first outdoor technology test of cloud brightening.

Applications are open to both Science and Engineering graduates. Preference will be given to candidates with an excellent academic record, strong mathematics / computational / programming / engineering skills, and a collaborative team-focused perspective, who would be available to study in Australia by early 2021. You should possess a driving desire to innovate and explore the boundaries of what is possible. The projects will require a willingness to travel and conduct fieldwork in remote locations aboard research vessels at sea and remote research stations within the Great Barrier Reef.

Students will be enrolled through the Higher Degree Research Training Program at Southern Cross University and will be encouraged to apply for a PhD scholarship that provides a living allowance of AU$28,092 per annum, indexed annually. Scholarship APPLICATIONS CLOSE 18 OCTOBER 2020.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.  


This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

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Publish Date
October 17, 2020