PhD Project: The missing link between the biophysical, spectral, and combustion aspects of eucalypt flammability


We are committed to creating a diverse teaching and learning environment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for this project without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. Women and people from underrepresented backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
Applications are open for non-Australian applicants both in Australia and overseas, and Australian domestic students.


About the project:

Bushfire management requires knowledge about how much fuel is available to burn, and how flammable the fuel is. Eucalypts dominate Australian forests and are known to be more flammable than other trees. The main aim of this project is to examine the flammability of eucalypt tress from three different perspectives: their biochemical composition, their spectral response, and their combustion behaviour. You'll collect data from different places across south eastern Australia and examine spatial and temporal changes in the flammability of eucalypt trees.
We can tailor the project to match your skills and interests, and we're open to developing these ideas further.


Aims and Potential avenues of research:

  • How climate change affects eucalypt flammability,
  • Quantification of the flammability of forest fuels using remote sensing techniques,
  • Uncoupling phenology from biophysical stressors and flammability.


Skills you'll learn:

  • Remote sensing and spectral analysis
  • Experimental design
  • Laboratory work
  • Combustion experiments
  • Multidimensional data acquisition and processing workflows,
  • Programming (e.g. python)



The PhD candidate is expected to be based in the ACT.
Travel for fieldwork will be required.


Application Process:

  • If this project excites you, you can begin the application process by emailing us. Please include the following:
  • Up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Full undergraduate and master’s academic transcript
  • Copy of honours and/or master’s thesis as well as links to publications (if applicable)
  • List of 4-6 referees with official institutional emails



The Australian National University offers competitive scholarships for both domestic and international PhD candidates and may offer both a tuition fee waiver and a living stipend. Visit the ANU scholarships website to assess your eligibility. First-author peer-reviewed publications in international journals are advantageous. We will let you know whether your skill set and academic record would place you well against the competition.