PhD Studentship – Deep Sea Corals as Ocean Proxies

PhD Studentship: high resolution archives of marine productivity and ocean circulation in the Southwest Pacific.

We wish to announce an exciting PhD studentship to be held jointly at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) and the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere (NIWA), New Zealand. The project also has strong linkages with the Australian National University (ANU).

This research, funded by New Zealand?s prestigious Marsden Fund, seeks to study changes in the massive South Pacific Gyre, the world?s largest ocean gyre. In recent decades the Gyres have been accelerating, driving regional climate change and impacting marine primary productivity. However, the short span of instrumental records means we know little about the long-term dynamics of the Gyres. This project will utilize a new archive of palaeoceanographic information ? deep-sea corals ? to study changes in ocean circulation over the last 3000-4000 years, and the impact it had on marine primary productivity.

We seek a student with a background in Earth Sciences, oceanography, or an equivalent discipline, preferably with experience in chemistry/geochemistry.. The student will gain experience in a range of cutting-edge geoanalytical techniques, including travel to Australia to train in radiocarbon analysis, and overseas conferences and workshops.

Applicants should apply to Dan Sinclair (, sending a cover letter including statement of research interests and contact details of 3 academic referees, a curriculum vitae and a copy of current academic transcript (certified transcripts will be requested of short-listed candidates). Applicant screening will begin immediately, and to be guaranteed consideration, applications should be received no later than Monday 20th February (New Zealand Time).

About the Institutions: Set in the hill suburbs of beautiful Wellington city, VUW is a vibrant research-strong university currently ranked #1 in the country for research excellence in Geology/Earth Sciences. It hosts a world-class geoanalytical laboratory, and leverages its position as a Capital City university to forge strong linkages with New Zealand?s Crown Research Institutes (including NIWA and GNS). NIWA is New Zealand?s premier research organization for environmental/ocean sciences and hosts cutting edge stable isotope facilities and one of the world?s largest collections of deep-sea corals.

For more information contact:
Dan Sinclair (
Helen Neil (
Stewart Fallon (
Aimee Komugabe-Dixson (

Dr Daniel Sinclair
School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences
Cotton Building
Victoria University of Wellington
Wellington 6012
New Zealand
ph +64 4 463 9755

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