Scientia PhD Scholarships – flooding and water resources projects

Researchers in the UNSW Water Research Centre are currently looking for exceptional PhD scholars to work on two Scientia PhD projects commencing in 2020.

Scientia PhD Scholarships offer the opportunity for PhD scholars to work on cutting-edge research to solve complex problems and improve the lives of people in local and global communities. These prestigious scholarships offer unique benefits, individualised support and guaranteed funding to research your personal development goals. Scholarship stipends are over $41 000 per year for 4 years with up to an additional $10000 available each year for career development.

Applications close on the 12th July 2019. If you have questions about either of the projects please get in touch with Dr Fiona Johnson.

  • Improving the flood resilience of Pacific Island urban communities

Fiona Johnson, Lucy Marshall and David Sanderson

Flash flooding is a problem around the world but the devastation is magnified for vulnerable communities in developing countries. With poorly constructed housing and inadequate/non-existent infrastructure, communities are poorly warned and poorly prepared. As climate change leads to heavier rainfall, and people converge to cities from rural areas, urgent action is required. This project will develop a framework to improve the resilience of poor urban communities to flash flooding. The project will focus on the use of improved rainfall forecasts and develop a strengths-based approach to improve the flood preparedness through flood mapping and education programs of vulnerable communities.

  • Climate change impacts on water resources for Indian Ocean island communities

Martin Andersen, Fiona Johnson and Jonathan Palmer

The threat to fresh water resources on Indian Ocean oceanic islands from climate change and sea-level rise is not yet quantified. This project will use the Australian external territories of Christmas and Cocos Islands as case studies, because they experience considerable inter-annual climatic variability but only have 40-year-long instrumental records, creating large uncertainties surrounding future projections. The research will use sensitive climate proxies from Australia, Indonesia and India to investigate changing climate and fresh water supplies and understand the impact of multiyear droughts. The results will be used to estimate the replenishment of groundwater resources using numerical groundwater modelling.

Share this