Funded PhD Project Available – The boron isotope in coral palaeo-climate records

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 development and application of boron isotope analysis to reconstruct the palaeo-ocean pH record in the Pacific Ocean. The project would suit someone with experience in geochemistry. Field experience in reef or marine environments would be beneficial, as the student will be required to take part in field campaigns in the Pacific. The successful candidate will spend up to a year at the University of Southampton developing skills in boron isotope analysis and trace element analysis.

The PhD student will be based in the School of Environment (UoA), supervised by Prof. Paul Kench and Prof. Gavin Foster, and will work closely with New Zealand based associate investigators Prof. Joel Baker (UoA) and Assoc. Prof. Claudine Stirling (The University of Otago). The student will be required to spend a period of 12 months based at the National Oceanography Centre, the University of Southampton, in the United Kingdom (beginning ~ January 2017) in order to learn the analytical technique for boron isotope analysis ( 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.