[Coral-List] New coral palaeoclimatology PhD project available at ANU

Heather Scott-Gagan Heather.Scott-Gagan at anu.edu.au
Tue Sep 26 01:54:35 EDT 2006

Dear Colleagues,

We have a new PhD topic available in the Earth Environment area of the
Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National 
University.  If you know of students who may be
interested in working with our team on corals in Indonesia, please have
them contact Mike Gagan and Linda Ayliffe for a detailed description of the
project, and how to apply (see contact info. below).

The fieldwork and laboratory components of the project will be fully funded
by RSES and the Australian Research Council.  The deadline for Australian
Postgraduate Award (APA) scholarship applications is 31 October 2006 (to
start by 31 March 2007).

A brief description of the project follows.

Many thanks,

Mike Gagan



The Indian Ocean Dipole is now recognised as a climate system of
international importance because of its effect on rainfall in Indonesia,
Australia, Asia, and East Africa. Resolving the debate about how the Dipole
and ENSO climate systems interact, and how they respond to different
background climates, is essential for understanding the nature of drought
in southern Australasia.  Would you like to work with an international team
to build on advances made at RSES in the microanalysis of stable-isotopes
and trace elements in recently discovered corals from the Mentawai Islands,
Sumatra, in western Indonesia?  Corals from the Mentawai Islands are well
located to quantify the range of IOD variability during times when Earth's
climate was different from the present day.

You will also have the special opportunity to answer a pressing question in
the collective mind of Australasian society, how often do great-earthquakes
occur and where will one strike next?  The nature of great compound
earthquakes, such the Boxing Day 2004 / Easter Monday 2005 event in
Sumatra, is poorly understood, largely because the regularity of
catastrophic earthquakes in space and time remains unanswered.  This facet
of the project will develop geochemical tracers in corals to reconstruct
the recurrence intervals of great submarine earthquakes and tsunamis in

You will join an experienced international team from Australia (ANU, AIMS,
CSIRO), Indonesia (LIPI), and the USA (Caltech, U. Wisconsin) who have
complementary skills in geochemistry, geochronology, palaeoclimatology,
ocean-atmosphere dynamics, palaeoclimate modelling, and palaeoseismology.
The ideal candidate will enjoy fieldwork on the coral reefs of Indonesia
(mapping, surveying, coral drilling, water sampling) and the development /
application of innovative laboratory techniques.

Contact Dr Mike Gagan (Michael.Gagan at anu.edu.au) and Dr Linda Ayliffe
(Linda.Ayliffe at anu.edu.au) for further information.

Heather Scott-Gagan
Earth Environment Group
Research School of Earth Sciences
Building 61
Mills Road
ACT  0200

Ph:	+61 2 6125 0588
Fax:	+61 2 6125 0738
Email:	 Heather.Scott-Gagan at anu.edu.au

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