PhD Scholarship in coral reef biogeochemistry in Australia

Project title: The contribution of sediment dissolution to whole coral reef dissolution

Description: A number of coral reefs around the globe are already net dissolving (i.e. negative net ecosystem calcification) for periods of the year due to ongoing global change (e.g. ocean acidification, warming, eutrophication). Our recent work has shown how shallow water coral reef carbonate sediments will dissolve due to ocean acidification (e.g. Eyre et al., 2018. Science). However, little is known about the contribution of carbonate sediment dissolution to negative net ecosystem calcification on coral reefs. This fully funded project will study a number coral reefs that are already showing negative net ecosystem calcification for periods of the year. Measurements of net ecosystem calcification and sediment dissolution will be made simultaneously to estimate the contribution of sediment dissolution to negative net ecosystem calcification.

This project involves collaboration with Dr. Tyler Cyronak at Nova Southeastern University, Florida and there may be opportunity to undertake field work in Florida, as well as Australia.

Eligibility: Applicants will need to have an Honours or Master degree, undertaken in English, in a related field such as biogeochemistry, environmental chemistry, or closely related. The project will involve extended periods in the field, including in boats, sometimes in remote areas. The PhD scholarship will provide a tax-free stipend of $27,400 and tuition fees will be exempt. Interested applicants should send their CV highlighting their research background and interests in this area to Prof. Bradley Eyre – (bradley.eyre@scu.edu.au). Only short-listed applicants will be notified. Closing date November 8, 2019 although it may be extended longer if position is not filled. Starting date is flexible, but preferably early 2020.

The project will be undertaken in the Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry (www.scu.edu.au/coastal-biogeochemistry) at Southern Cross University which received the highest rank of 5.0, well above world average, in geochemistry in the most recent assessment of research excellence by the Australian government.

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