PhDs, ice sheet and glacier research - Melbourne, Australia

Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, is advertising PhD projects in ice sheet and glacier research to work with Prof Andrew Mackintosh, Dr Richard Selwyn Jones, and Dr Felicity McCormack as part of the new Monash Ice Sheet Initiative (MISI) group in the School of Earth, Atmosphere and the Environment.

Logistics

One project may be of particular interest to paleoclimate scientists: "Identifying the climate drivers of New Zealand and Patagonian glacier fluctuations during the last deglaciation."

Funding including stipend, fees, and project costs is available on a competitive basis to all international candidates.

Project description

This project, "Identifying the climate drivers of New Zealand and Patagonian glacier fluctuations during the last deglaciation", supported by the New Zealand Marsden Fund, is underway. They are specifically looking for a student to undertake numerical experiments with coupled climate models and analyse the results. The candidate will collaborate with Laurie Menviel at UNSW, Australia, and Feng He at the University of Wisconsin Madison, USA, as well as a broader international team in Wellington, New Zealand, Santiago, Chile and Hobart, Australia.

Applications

The deadline for applying to Monash University is 31 March 2020, however, they would like to begin discussions with interested candidates by the end of February (latest).

Candidates should address enquiries (cc all three) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please include in the email a 1-page letter of motivation, outlining your primary area of interest and reason for pursuing a PhD in this field, and your CV (including relevant academic grades and publications).

Please contact Andrew, Felicity and Richard by the end of February (latest). Candidates who apply directly through the Monash system without first contacting them will not be supported.

Description for all available positions

The Monash Ice Sheet Initiative (MISI) group is seeking international PhD candidates for projects that contribute to:

- Estimating the contribution of ice sheets and glaciers to sea level rise;
- Understanding the climate and ice sheet processes that lead to sea level rise;
- Improving parameterisations of ice sheet/climate interactions in models; and
- Understanding glacier-climate interactions in a paleo, present-day and future climates, for improved sea level and water resource projections.

Below is a list of possible projects. However, candidates are strongly encouraged to develop their own ideas, particularly where they overlap with the themes listed below. All projects will include significant national and international collaborations.

Candidates are expected to have a strong background in Earth systems science or physics/mathematics/engineering/chemistry, with the background required depending on the project of interest. Experience in scientific computing (e.g. python, matlab, C/C++, fortran) or laboratory-based methods (e.g. geochemistry) is desirable, but not essential.

Projects

The long-term stability of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

- Sensitivity of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to climate variability/change and response to different Earth systems forcings.
Predominantly an ice sheet modelling study to understanding processes that govern grounding line stability, evolution, and hysteresis, with a particular focus on key regions in East Antarctica (e.g. Aurora and Wilkes Subglacial Basins). Glacial-interglacial stability and variability of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet margin from multiple-cosmogenic nuclide analysis. Predominantly a lab-based study using cosmogenic nuclides, dependent on field work. Decadal to millennial-scale climate drivers of East Antarctic Ice Sheet mass balance.

- Influence of large-scale atmosphere and ocean variability on past and future East Antarctic Ice Sheet mass balance.
Predominantly an ice sheet and climate modelling study with assimilation of remote sensing data and airborne geophysical data.

- Influence of centennial to millennial-scale climate variability on East Antarctic Ice Sheet stability, incorporating palaeoclimate modelling, ice sheet modelling and reconstructed palaeo ice sheet history.
Ice-ocean interactions on the East Antarctic continental shelf during the last deglaciation. Predominantly an ice sheet modelling study.

- Geometry of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet during the last deglaciation, with particular focus on: George V Land, Wilkes Land, MacRobertson Land, Kemp Land.
Predominantly lab-based study using cosmogenic nuclides, with potential for ice sheet modelling.

Role of ice shelves on ice sheet mass balance

- Past ice-shelf stability and collapse: constraining ice shelf history and oceanic variability of Greenland ice streams during the last deglaciation.
Predominantly a lab-based study using cosmogenic nuclides, with potential for ice sheet modelling.

- The dynamic evolution of Antarctic Ice Shelves, and their sensitivity to change.
Predominantly an ice sheet modelling project with assimilation of existing observations of ice shelves around Antarctica.

Mountain glaciers; past, present and future behaviour

- Identifying the climate drivers of New Zealand and Patagonian glacier fluctuations during the last deglaciation.
This project, supported by the New Zealand Marsden Fund, is underway. We are specifically looking for a student to undertake numerical experiments with coupled climate models and analyse the results. The candidate will collaborate with Laurie Menviel at UNSW and Feng He at the University of Wisconsin Madison, as well as a broader international team in Wellington, New Zealand, Santiago, Chile and Hobart, Australia.

- Glacier-climate relationships in the Hindu Kush Himalayas.
This potential project is dependent on opportunities for field work and collaborators, and could include both cosmogenic dating of glacial landforms and numerical modelling of glacier fluctuations.