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PhD Scholarship - Unlocking the archives of the Kimberley's past

St Lucia
The University of Queensland


The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (SEES)

The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (SEES) is part of the Faculty of Science at the University of Queensland and is located on the St Lucia campus (Brisbane, Australia) of the University. It has 104 academic staff, and 23 administrative and technical staff. SEES is a vibrant, multidisciplinary School with extensive teaching and research programs covering the fields of Geology, Geography, Environmental Management, Occupational Health and Safety Sciences and Planning. The successful applicant would reside in the Atmospheric Observations Research Group https://sees.uq.edu.au/atmospheric-observations-research-group

The role

The successful candidate will be working under the supervision of Prof. Hamish McGowan, Prof. Patrick Moss and Prof. Simon Haberle, and undertake their PhD as a member of a multidisciplinary team of scientists from Australia’s leading research intensive universities (Australian National University, The University of Queensland, University of Western Australia, The University of Melbourne, and Wollongong University) who aim to reconstruct the environmental history of the Kimberley region of northwest Australia.

The successful candidate will analyse sediment cores collected from swamps and shallow lakes to develop new understanding of the Kimberley’s paleoclimate. This new knowledge will be used to shed light on the weather and climate experienced by Australia’s earliest inhabitants and the possible impact on the thousands of rock panels they painted.

During the course of the PhD, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to attend (inter)national conferences to present their research. The candidate will start the project in mid-2020.

The candidate

Applicants should possess a BSc Hons, MSc, or equivalent, majoring in a relevant discipline (e.g. geography, geology, environmental science) with experience in the analysis of paleo-environmental proxy such as pollen and charcoal. Computational programming experience with Matlab, Python, R, or equivalent would be advantageous.

Excellent oral and written communication skills, motivation and the ability to work as part of a team is also required. Experience with dating techniques such as 14C and 210Pb would be an advantage.

Applicants must be eligible to enrol in a PhD with the University of Queensland. For a complete list of the University of Queensland's minimum entry requirements please refer to: http://www.uq.edu.au/grad-school/our-research-degrees.

You must have ongoing unrestricted work rights in Australia to apply for this opportunity.

Desirable requirements for applicants:

One or more peer-reviewed publications with evidence of timely delivery of high quality research outputs. Previous experience in the collection and analysis of sediment cores for palao-environmental reconstruction.

Scholarship and remuneration

Applicants must note that selection by The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (SEES) for participation in this research project, and admission to UQ are two separate processes. The applicant who successfully applies to this PhD research project opportunity will then be required to apply to the UQ Graduate School for admission. SEES will assist the successful applicant with their application for admission, but note that a successful application to SEES for this research project does not guarantee a successful application to the UQ Graduate School for admission. The selected prospective PhD candidate will receive a Research Training Program (RTP) living allowance stipend rate of $ 28,092 per annum tax-free (2020 rate), indexed annually, for three years with the possibility of two 6-month extensions in approved circumstances(conditions apply). On award of the scholarship a top-up stipend of $5000 per year will be available for a period not exceeding 3 years from the time of confirmation of PhD candidature by SEES. Additional funding up to $3000 in total during your period of PhD candidature will also be available to defray costs associated with presentation of your research at conferences.

For further information on scholarships refer to: http://www.uq.edu.au/grad-school/scholarships-and-fees.


To discuss this role, please contact Prof Hamish McGowan by email h.mcgowan@uq.edu.au


Please note: All applications to be submitted via the process outlined on the Grant-aligned priority PhD Scholarships page https://scholarships.uq.edu.au/scholarship/grant-aligned-priority-phd-scholarships As part of this process, you are required to upload a cover letter (addressing the suitability for the project) and a full resume along with the contact details of 3 referees.