PhD Project in Coastal Landscape Susceptibility to Environmental Change – University of Melbourne

PhD Project in Coastal Landscape Susceptibility to Environmental Change

Coastal landform systems are highly dynamic and respond to several physical drivers which span a range of time-scales. These include the response to individual storms through to that from decadal to centennial variations of sea level. The final form of coastal landforms is a combination of these driving processes, and other biogeomorphological characteristics. In most climate change adaptation studies, dune and beach systems are often treated as static features that are passively submerged by rising seas. This ignorance of biogeomorphological processes is a major flaw of many management strategies.

The focus of this PhD is to investigate the sensitivity of coastal sedimentary systems, specifically beaches and dunes, to changing boundary conditions. The project will take a coastal compartments approach to understanding sediment transport dynamics. It will link on-ground geomorphology and biogeography with the supply of offshore sediments driven by shelf oceanographic processes, interpreted from simulated and field collected data. The study will focus on the Victorian coast of Australia, seeking to understand climatological drivers of the geomorphic record. The project is a partnership between the newly established National Centre for Coasts and Climate at The University of Melbourne and the CSIRO and funded through the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program.

The ideal candidate should possess an Honours or Masters degree (Honours 1 grade) in coastal or marine science. The project will incorporate laboratory and field geomorphology, GIS, and analysis of model and field oceanographic data streams. The project focus within these disciplines will depend on the interests and skill set of the successful candidate.

The project consists of a scholarship consisting $26,288 per annum for full time students, available to Australian and New Zealand citizens, and Australian Permanent Residents. The successful application will need to accept the scholarship by the 31st December 2016 for a 2017 start.

Applications are now open and will be assessed on 20 November. To apply, send your CV, academic transcript and short statement (300 words max) outlining your interest in the project to A/Prof David Kennedy [davidmk@unimelb.edu.au]

For general enquiries please contact A/Prof David Kennedy, School of Geography (principle supervisor)[davidmk@unimelb.edu.au] or Prof Steve Swearer (Director of the National Centre for Coasts & Climate) [s.swearer@unimelb.edu.au].