PhD positions in Lake and Terrestrial Paleoecology

Deadline: 16 December 2016

Two PhD positions in paleoecology are available in the School of Environment at the University of Auckland.  The positions are associated with a project focusing on tipping points in coupled terrestrial and lake systems, funded by the New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge.  The research will use cutting-edge methods in palaeoecology and paleolimnology, supported by quantitative modelling, to define how past and present human action in watersheds can drive large changes in terrestrial and lake community composition and trophic state.  Fieldwork will be conducted in a range of systems on the North and South Islands of New Zealand.

The successful candidates will have demonstrated experience and potential in research dealing with terrestrial and/or lake ecology.  One PhD will focus on lake community dynamics using palaeolimnological approaches (led by Kevin Simon at the University of Auckland and David Hamilton at the University of Waikato) and the other will develop model-based approaches to improve understanding of tipping points in new and existing palaeoecological records (led by George Perry at the University of Auckland and Janet Wilmshurst at University of Auckland/Landcare Research).  Candidates should have a willingness to conduct field, laboratory, and modelling work.  Specific experience in palaeoecological analysis (pollen, diatoms, etc.) is highly preferred.   

The positions include funds covering stipends ($27,000 per yr for three years) and university fees and there will be the opportunity to work collaboratively with other institutions in NZ. Domestic and international students are encouraged to apply and applicants must meet the University’s criteria for entry into the PhD programme.

To apply, please send a cover letter, CV, and the names and contact information for three references to:  Dr. George Perry ( or Dr. Kevin Simon (