Picture (above): Drying creek. Credit: See Like Finn (Pixabay)

As the driest inhabited continent, Australia is vulnerable to future drought changes which pose severe risks to water resources, ecosystems and agriculture. However, how Australian droughts will change in response to climate change has remained an open question, particularly due to high uncertainty in future rainfall patterns.

This project seeks to better understand the changing nature of Australian droughts by synthesising satellite and ground observations in combination with state-of-the-art climate model projections. In particular, the student will aim to identify hot spots of future drought risk for multiple aspects of drought, gaining multi-disciplinary expertise in hydrology, ecology, climate science and modelling.

The project is based at the Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney), Australia, under the supervision of Dr Anna Ukkola and Professor Andrew Pitman.

The successful candidate will become part of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, an international research consortium of five Australian universities (UNSW, Monash University, The University of Melbourne, The University of Tasmania and The Australian National University) and a suite of outstanding national and international Partner Organizations. The Centre provides excellent opportunities for travel and graduate student development.

We are looking for expressions of interest from outstanding graduates with a strong academic record (e.g. Honours Class I or Masters by Research or equivalent). Graduates with a strong background in hydrology, mathematics, physics, atmospheric science, climate science, engineering or similar quantitative sciences are particularly encouraged to apply. Programming experience with (or willingness to learn) R, Python or similar language is essential.

Questions should be directed to Anna Ukkola (a.ukkola@unsw.edu.au). Expressions of interest including a CV, full academic transcript, and the names of up to three academic referees should be sent to climate.grad@unsw.edu.au by June 30, 2020.

Note: this is not an official application, if your expression of interest is accepted, we will guide you through the application process.