PhD positions in intermittent stream biogeochemistry

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Southern Cross University
28° 49' 23.394" S, 153° 17' 22.164" E
Start Date: 
Sunday, May 31, 2020 - 18:30

The Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry at Southern Cross University (Lismore, NSW, Australia) is seeking two PhD students to join our dynamic research group.


The research: Approximately 75% of Australia’s waterways run dry for part of the year. However, without water to sample, these dry phases are treated as effectively ‘zero’ in our understanding of stream carbon and nitrogen cycling. We are currently seeking two PhD students to help redress this knowledge gap for sub-tropical Australian streams. The candidates will focus on either the metabolism, methane production, or nitrous oxide cycling of intermittent streams. This work will involve combining techniques from terrestrial and aquatic sciences, and students will have the option to use both high-frequency field instruments and stable isotope (δ15N, δ18O, δ13C, Δ17O) techniques.


The positions: The PhD scholarships are funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage grant (‘Untangling metabolism and greenhouse gas production in intermittent streams’) in collaboration with GeoLINK environmental consulting. Candidates will be based in the Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry (, at Southern Cross University (Australia). Southern Cross University received the highest rank of 5.0 in the most recent national research excellence assessment. Southern Cross University is based in Lismore, northern NSW, Australia. The region is a great place to live with a sub-tropical climate, some the best beaches and surfing in the world, plus great fishing, scuba diving and wilderness areas. The quality of life is high and the cost of living relatively low. Candidates will work on a team lead by SCU researchers Prof Brad Eyre, Dr Naomi Wells, and Dr Judith Rosentreter, and Dr Alberto Borges (University of Liège, Belgium). There is a possibility of exchange visits with the University of Liège. Scholarships provide a tax-free annual stipend of $28,000 for 3 years (with a possible six-month extension), and a tuition fee waiver for international students.


How to apply: Applicants must have an Honours or Master degree, undertaken in English, in a related field such as biogeochemistry, soil science, environmental chemistry, limnology, or closely related. The project will involve periods of intensive field measurements, laboratory work, and data processing. Experience with either large data sets or stable isotopes is preferred. Interested applicants should send a CV and short (< 1 page) statement highlighting their research background and interests, with respect to the criteria above, to Dr Naomi Wells ( Only short-listed applicants will be notified. Closing date January 28, 2020. Starting date is flexible, but preferably by April 2020.

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