Funded PhD Project Available – Reconstructing Palaeo Climate Records from the Tropical Pacific Using Coral Archives

Deadline: September 9 2016

A funded PhD project is available through the School of Environment, at the University of Auckland (UoA), which will contribute to the ‘Putting the Pacific Ocean to the litmus test’ project, funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund. The broad aim of the Marsden project is to reconstruct millennial-scale records of past ocean pH in the Pacific Ocean from tropical corals using geochemical techniques.

This PhD project will be focused on the construction of coral chronologies using carbonate petrography, mineralogy, X-radiography and U-series dating, and the construction of palaeo-climate proxy records from O and C stable isotopes and trace element analyses. The project would suit someone with experience in coral reef geomorphology, palaeo-climate reconstruction, and/or trace element and isotope analyses. Field experience in reef or marine environments would be beneficial, as the student will be required to take part in extended field campaigns in remote parts of the Pacific.

The PhD student will be based in the School of Environment at the University of Auckland, supervised by Prof. Paul Kench and co-supervised by Assoc. Prof. Claudine Stirling (University of Otago) and Professor Kathy Campbell (UoA). The student will be required to spend a period of several months at the University of Otago developing skills in clean room chemistry and U-series isotopic analysis by mass spectrometry. Please direct any questions about this project to Emma Ryan (

Scholarship funding (living costs, tuition fees and research costs) is available for three years, and is open to both domestic and international candidates. Applicants will need to meet the University’s criteria for entry into the PhD programme.

Please apply by sending your application to Emma Ryan by e-mail ( as a single document (pdf preferred), including a statement outlining your suitability for the post, a detailed CV, and contact details of two academic referees.