This project presents a rare opportunity to work in one of the world’s few Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiments, a cutting-edge global change manipulation experiment, located in southern Tasmania, Australia. The rising concentration of CO2in the atmosphere should stimulate plant growth but often doesn’t and our inability to explain the reasons for this lack of response prevents us from predicting global carbon balances and future agricultural productivity.

This project will involve measurements in a cutting-edge global change field experiment to close this knowledge gap by examining plant growth responses to elevated CO2 during repeated drought cycles. In particular, the candidate will aim to identify the mechanisms and timescales over which past water and nutrient availability affect photosynthesis and growth responses to CO2 in grasslands, which is crucial for improving models of future plant growth and land-atmosphere interactions.

This project is fully funded by the Australian Research Council. The successful candidate will be based in the School of Natural Sciences at the University of Tasmania and jointly supervised by Associate Professor Mark Hovenden at the University of Tasmania (UTAS) and Dr Martin De Kauwe at the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

The following eligibility criteria apply to this scholarship:

  • The scholarship is open to Australian and New Zealand (domestic) candidates and to International candidates.
  • Research must be undertaken on a full-time basis.
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first-class Honours degree in plant science, ecology or agricultural science or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.
  • Current vehicle drivers license.

Candidates from the following disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Degree-level undergraduate education in biology, plant science, agricultural science, ecology or a related subject.
  • Experience with plant physiological measurements such as gas exchange, water or nutrient relations.
  • Experience in making repetitive measurements in a field setting.

Applications details can be found here. (If link is not active contact supervisors direct).