PhD Position: Mitigating climate change with blue carbon ecosystems

Peter M.
Peter M.

Deakin University is seeking an outstanding scholar for a full-time PhD and scholarship associated with School of Life and Environmental Sciences project for ‘Mitigating climate change with blue carbon ecosystems‘ led by Dr Peter Macreadie and co-supervised by Chris Pitfield from Corangamite Catchment Management Authority.

This industry-focused PhD project will be based at Deakin’s Burwood campus and the successful candidate will be required to commence as soon as possible.

Project description: Atmospheric accumulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) accounts for 80% of Earth’s greenhouse effect, which causes global warming. Leading nations recognise the need to reduce atmospheric carbon (C) emissions.

Australian Governments regard bio-sequestration as “the single largest opportunity for C emission reduction in Australia” (Liberal), that must be “central to any ambitious global effort to meet targets for limiting temperature increase” (Labor). The capacity of the terrestrial biosphere to remove C from the atmosphere through bio-sequestration has now been well-studied (e.g. forest C farming initiatives), but it is now emerging that the greatest opportunities for C offsetting may be within coastal vegetated habitats; specifically, saltmarshes, and mangroves – commonly referred to as ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems.

We are seeking a PhD candidate to investigate opportunities for using blue carbon ecosystems to offset carbon emissions within the Corangamite region.

This PhD project will:

  • Measure carbon accumulation rates and greenhouse gas fluxes within Corangamite’s current and former blue carbon ecosystems;
  • Investigate the potential negative impacts of agricultural stressors on the carbon sink capacity of Corangamite’s wetlands; and
  • Test a range of strategies for reducing carbon losses and maximising carbon gains within the Corangamite catchment.

Application period/Closing date: 5pm, 31 August 2015

Value and benefits: A stipend of $25,849 per annum, tax exempt for 3 years. The successful candidate might be eligible for a top-up scholarship.

Eligibility criteria: Applicants must meet Deakin’s PhD entry requirements, be enrolling full-time and hold an Honours degree (First Class) or a Master’s degree. Please refer to the entry pathways to higher degrees by research for further information.

Preference will be given to students who have previously published or have shown steps towards publishing past research (e.g. Honours or Masters research).

This project is ideally suited to a student with a background in chemistry, ecology, or landscape management. Desired skills include: experience with GIS, habitat mapping, and flux measurements / sediment chemistry.

The project will involve a large field component (regular travel and sampling of field sites), as well as some laboratory work. The student will need to liaise regularly with farmers and resource managers; therefore, good communication skills are essential.

Applications are open to Australian citizens or permanent residents and New Zealand citizens.

Terms and conditions: Please refer to the terms and conditions (PDF, 327.1 KB) of award for more details.

How to apply: Refer to the Apply for a research degree webpage for application information.

Please also include a cover letter in the online application stating:

  • your career aspirations;
  • research interests; and
  • a summary of your education and employment history.

Further information: If you wish to discuss your research interests and project proposal before applying, please contact Dr Peter Macreadie via email or phone +61 3 924 43749.