PHD PROJECTS

The impact of Antarctic sea ice on simulated Southern Ocean watermasses

Abstract

Do you know how important Antarctic sea ice is for the global climate?

Neither do we (nor anyone else for that matter). But we do know that sea ice plays a key role in the global ocean's uptake of 90% of the heat trapped on the planet by anthropogenic emissions, so this is an important question. We are looking for a motivated, creative individual with strong quantitative skills to tackle that question, as part of a world-class team oceanographers and sea ice experts.
The successful applicant will use data from the state-of-science climate models that are used to inform IPCC reports, to investigate how Antarctic sea ice affects the circulation of the Southern Ocean, how well those processes are represented in the models, and the global implications of those processes in a warming climate.

Over the course of the project, the student will communicate their research in top tier scientific journals, and at domestic and international conferences.

Supervisory Team

Will Hobbs
Jan Zika
Zanna Chase

Closing Date

14th May 2021*

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

*unless filled earlier

For information on eligibility and the application process please emaill Will.Hobbs@utas.edu.au 

Frontal variability of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current

Abstract

This project will improve the characterization of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current fronts variability and change. The analysis is circumpolar with the observational and reanalysis datasets.

Supervisory Team

Annie Foppert
Benoit Legresy
Steve Rintoul

Closing Date

14th May 2021*

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

*unless filled earlier

For information on eligibility and the application process please email Annie.Foppert@utas.edu.au

Response of the Larsen C Ice Shelf system to changes in grounding line forcing from numerical modelling

Abstract

The speed of Antarctic glaciers can vary substantially on tidal time scales. Using a combination of GPS observations and numerical modelling, this project will use glacier velocities to draw conclusions around ice shelf dynamics, the interaction of ice and its bed and the sensitivity of glaciers to changes in forcing.

Supervisory Team

Sue Cook
Matt King
Chen Zhao

Closing Date

14th May 2021*

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

*unless filled earlier

For information on eligibility and the application process please email Sue.Cook@utas.edu.au

Tidal melting of Antarctic ice shelves since Last Glacial Maxiumum

Abstract

The project has its focus on high resolution modelling of paleo ocean and its impact on ice sheet retreat through paleo ice shelf melting.

Supervisory Team

Chen Zhao
Ben Galton-Fenzi
Matt King

Closing Date

14th May 2021*

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

*unless filled earlier

For information on eligibility and the application process please email Chen.Zhao@utas.edu.au 

Investigating Southern Ocean meridional fluxes from ARGO within the framework of a time-varying Gravest Empirical Mode climatology of watermass properties

Project 4: Oceans
Abstract

This project will develop a new Gravest Empirical Model climatology of physical and biogeochemical watermass properties and use it to examine long-term change in Antarctic Circumpolar Fronts, and small-scale variability in Southern Ocean watermasses.

Supervisory Team

Nathan Bindoff
Helen Phillips
Steve Rintoul
Annie Foppert

Closing Date

8th October 2021*

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

*unless filled earlier

For information on eligibility and the application process please N.Bindoff@utas.edu.au 

Simulating multi-decadal trends in atmospheric composition

Project 1: Atmosphere
Abstract

Multi decadal ice-core records of key atmospheric chemical and aerosol species provides us with an important opportunity to evaluate how well new-generation climate-chemistry models perform. Constraining these atmospheric species is an important step in improving the accuracy of the aerosol-cloud-radiation system within our climate models.

In this project, the candidate will use ice-core observations of several key atmospheric chemical and aerosol species, including hydroxyl, dust, organic carbon, black carbon and methane-sulfonic acid to evaluate and test the Australian Community Climate and Earth System Simulator (ACCESS) model with full chemistry.

The candidate will need good computing skills including knowing a programming language such as python and experience working in a UNIX environment and preferably have experience in using large climate data/climate models. Good written and oral skills and an Honours/Masters degree in Atmospheric Science or equivalent STEM field are also required.

Supervisory Team

Sonya Fiddes
Delphine Lannuzel
Mark Curran
Matt Woodhouse

Closing Date

8th October 2021*

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

*unless filled earlier

For information on eligibility and the application process please email Annie.Foppert@utas.edu.au 

Understanding the role of micronekton in the export of carbon in the Southern Ocean

Project 7: Krill & Ecosystems
Abstract

Carbon sequestration is the long-term storage of carbon on land and in the ocean. In the ocean, the biological gravitational pump was thought to be solely responsible for the transport of carbon from the surface waters to depth. However, it is now recognised that other processes are involved including particle injection via midwater biota. An important, yet understudied, component of this is the mesopelagic migrant pump which can lead to substantial amounts of carbon being actively transported to mesopelagic depths through the vertical migration of micronekton. Micronekton are free-swimming, taxonomically diverse, pelagic animals around 2-20 cm in size and comprise of some of the most abundant animals in the oceans. Micronekton contribute to the transport of carbon by feeding in the shallows and egesting C rich faeces in the deep. However, little is known about exactly how much carbon they transport.

This project aims to investigate the role micronekton play in sequestering carbon in the Southern Ocean. By linking ecosystem studies and biogeochemistry the successful student will use data and samples collected during the AAPP 2020/2021 SOLACE voyage to quantify carbon export by micronekton in the Southern Ocean. These data will be used as input into a carbon flux model for the Southern Ocean. Critically, this work will better link Southern Ocean midwater ecology and biogeochemistry.

Supervisory Team

Philip Boyd
Ben Scoulding
Elizabeth Shadwick
Kerrie Swadling
Peter Sutton

Closing Date

8th October 2021*

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

*unless filled earlier

For information on eligibility and the application process please Philip.Boyd@utas.edu.au

Modelling downward carbon flux in the Southern Ocean: linking ocean midwater ecology and biogeochemistry

Project 7: Krill & Ecosystems
Abstract

The oceans act as major sinks of atmospheric carbon. The biological pump is the ocean’s biologically driven carbon sequestration system. It has many pathways for sequestering carbon (e.g. gravitational pump and particle injection via midwater biota), however, understanding and linking these pathways is not easy and therefore has seldom been attempted. Often the models designed to quantify downward particulate carbon flux in the oceans lack information on key pathways and their parameterization may only focus on a limited number of these pathways. Development of a holistic model which links these ecological and biogeochemical pathways will provide a much more comprehensive and accurate picture of downward particulate carbon flux across the oceans. Such a model will enable researchers to track the oceans’ ongoing ability to sequester carbon in response to climate change.

This project will connect pathways for carbon sequestered by the biological pump in both subpolar and polar waters of the S. Ocean. By working closely with relevant experts who straddle midwater ecology and biogeochemistry, the successful student will bridge the gap between different areas of research to develop a truly ocean-wide downward particulate carbon flux model which importantly builds links between these two disciplines. The model will be used to establish a firm baseline on the magnitude of carbon sequestered by the biological pump which will enable us to detect future changes in the downward carbon flux due to climate change. By tracking carbon export will be able to see whether this flux is maintained, enhanced, or diminished in the subantarctic and polar S. Ocean in response to climate change.

Supervisory Team

Philip Boyd
Ben Scoulding
Elizabeth Shadwick
Kerrie Swadling
Rowan Trebilco

Closing Date

8th October 2021*

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

*unless filled earlier

For information on eligibility and the application process please email Philip.Boyd@utas.edu.au

Investigating the impact of marine ice on ice shelf stability

Project 3: Ice Shelves
Abstract

The floating ice shelves around Antarctica play a critical role in its contribution to sea level rise, by restraining the flow of ice from the continent towards the ocean. These ice shelves often consist of a conglomeration of different materials, including meteoric ice, refrozen seawater (marine ice), and recent compacted snowfall. The structure of an ice shelf, and the properties of these different materials, can substantially affect its strength and future stability.

This PhD will use a range of methods including laboratory studies of ice samples, airborne geophysics data, and satellite remote sensing, to characterize the material properties and internal structure of an East Antarctic ice shelf, and to determine their implications for ice shelf stability.

Supervisory Team

Sue Cook
Sarah Thompson

Closing Date

8th October 2021*

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

*unless filled earlier

For information on eligibility and the application process please email Sue.Cook@utas.edu.au 

Modelling climate change impacts on Antarctic ecosystems using the Atlantis Model

Project 7: Krill & Ecosystems
Abstract

Antarctic marine ecosystems provide ecosystem services that are important on a global scale, and there is a strong imperative to understand and predict the responses of these systems and services to current and future climate change. An implementation of the Atlantis end-to-end ecosystem model has been developed for the East Antarctic regions, and is well suited to exploring scenarios to evaluate potential climate change impacts on ecosystem structure and function.

In this project, the successful candidate will work with modelling experts to complete the calibration of the East Antarctic Atlantis model, and to the use the calibrated model to explore simple scenarios for ecosystem change. In the second part of the project, the candidate will update representation of sea ice and ice-dependent species in the model, and consider more detailed scenarios for change in sea ice habitats.

Supervisory Team

Sophie Bestley
Jessica Melbourne-Thomas
Julia Blanchard

Closing Date

8th October 2021*

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

*unless filled earlier

For information on eligibility and the application process please email Sophie.Bestley@utas.edu.au