PhD scholarship: Understanding extremes in Australia’s variable rainfall

Tuesday 23 February 2016
Photo: Rain near Broken Hill has filled dams (Nicolas Hoyle: user submitted)
Rain fills empty dams in far west NSW - Image Nicolas Hoyle - ABC Rural (Australian ... www.abc.net.au

The candidate will become part of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science - an international research consortium of five Australian universities

This project will address questions about the range and causes of Australia’s variable rainfall. Australia experiences highly variable rainfall, which is influenced by both unforced climate variability and anthropogenic climate forcings. Hydrological extremes, such as drought and floods, have high socio-economic costs for Australia, so understanding the range of variability and processes that cause changes is critical. 

This PhD project will investigate the influence of anthropogenic (e.g. greenhouse gases, aerosols and land use change) and natural (volcanic eruptions and solar variability) climate forcings on hydrological trends and extremes. Using climate models, observations and long-term palaeoclimate records, this project will investigate the processes behind recently observed hydroclimatic events in Australia, such as the persistent decline in rainfall in southwestern Western Australia, the extended Millennium Drought in southeastern Australia and the record eastern Australian rains in 2011. 

Research Environment

The candidate will be supervised by Dr Sophie Lewis (ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, Fenner School of Environment and Society) and Associate Professor Nerilie Abram
(ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science and Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University). The student will be based at The Australian National University in Canberra, with collaboration with the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. 

The candidate will become part of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science - an international research consortium of five Australian universities (The University of New South Wales, Monash University, The University of Melbourne, The University of Tasmania and The Australian National University) and a suite of outstanding national and international Partner Organizations. The Centre provides excellent opportunities for travel and graduate student development. http://www.climatescience.org.au

Expressions of interest 

The successful candidate will receive a stipend of $26,288 (2016 rate) per year which will be indexed annually for the duration of the award. The duration of the award shall be for three years with a maximum possible extension of up to six months (assessed on a case by case basis). The successful candidate will be able to adapt the project to match their background, interests and expertise. To be eligible, a student must have completed a Bachelor Degree with First Class Honours, or be regarded by ANU as having an equivalent level of attainment. 

If you are interested in applying please complete our Expression of Interest form:
https://www.climatescience.org.au/content/707-graduate-opportunities-exp...

Note- this is not an official application, if your expression of interest is accepted we will guide you through the application process.

For further information on the project, contact Dr Sophie Lewis (sophie.lewis@anu.edu.au)

Updated:  23 March 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director Fenner School/Page Contact:  Webmaster Fenner School