[Coral-List] PhD position opening on a newly funded project on Assessing past and present modes of net reef carbonate production and growth in Northern Borneo

nicola browne nikkibrowne_uk at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Jan 21 04:55:10 UTC 2019

Dear Coral Listers,
We are seeking a highly motivated PhD student for a newly funded project working on reefs off northern Borneo.
OverviewThe PhD student will join an interdisciplinary team of researchers based at Curtin University in Miri, Borneo and in Perth.  The project will involve 6 months per year based at Miri for field trips and laboratory analysis as well as 6 months based at the Curtin University Bentley Campus for data analysis and writing. 
Project description
The aim of the project is to quantify past and present ratesof coral reef development and accretion using the carbonate budget approach forreefs in Northern Borneo.  These reefsare situated within the Miri-Sibuti Coral Reef National Park (MSCRNP) that wasestablished in 2002 and is Borneo’s second largest marine protected area. Todate limited research has been conducted on these reefs despite high levels ofecological and social value.  Preliminaryinvestigations by researchers at Curtin have observed highly diverse fish,invertebrate and coral communities despite low rugosity reef profiles andlimited reef habitat availability.  Thesereefs are also unusual as unlike reefs in north-eastern Borneo, these reefshave yet to reach sea-level.  This maybedue to rates of biological erosion and reef framework removal, which giveninitial observations appear to be high. Assessing how these unique reefs have grown and developed over time tosupport these diverse yet low profile reef ecosystems not yet at sea-level willbe the focus of this study.  These datawill also provide a comprehensive assessment of reef health in the past andpresent day that can be used to assess impacts from future local changes interrestrial land management, as well as global environmental changes.  

This project is acollaborative project between the Molecular and Life Sciences School at CurtinUniversity Australia, and the Curtin Malaysia Research Institute.  Funding is provided by the Curtin MalaysiaResearch Institute and Curtin University at Bentley.  More information can be found at http://research.curtin.edu.my/phd-studentship/

Project supervisors 
The project will be jointly supervised by Dr. Nicola Browne, Assoc. Prof. Jennifer McIlwain and Dr.Nagarajan Ramasamy.  The student willspend 6 months per year at Curtin Malaysia in Miri, Sarawak and 6 months inPerth at the Curtin University Bentley. The successful candidate will receive a living stipend of RM 2,100 permonth while in Malaysia and AU $2,000 per month while in Perth. Scholarshipholders will be enrolled at Curtin Malaysia and be exempt from tuition fees.

This project is a multidisciplinary project that willinvolve the assessment of contemporary reef ecology, habitat and bathymetricmapping, sedimentology, hydrodynamics, and palaeoecology.  The project will involve a large field andlaboratory component.  

RequirementsThe applicant must have completed an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science, Environmental Biology or Marine Biology with a First Class Honours degree (or equivalent) in Marine Biology or Ecology. The successful applicant must also have field experience and SCUBA qualifications. Experience in experimental design and analysis is desirable.
This three year award is open to national and international students
ApplicationsPlease send your expressions of interest including a CV, academic transcripts and a brief cover letter to Dr Nicola Browne (Nicola.browne at curtin.edu.au) by the 28th February 2019.
Kind regards
Nicola BrowneCurtin UniversityPerthWestern Australia

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