PhD Degree Positions in Earthquake, Tsunami and Landslide Science

We have openings for motivated students to undertake PhD research that will improve the earthquake and tsunami resilience of New Zealand communities through innovative earthquake science. All PhD projects will utilise synthetic or virtual earthquakes from physics-based computer models, to enable new avenues of research for forecasting a range of hazards including ground rupture and shaking, landslides and tsunami. Four 3-year positions are available and will be supported by the New Zealand Government via the Resilience to Nature's Challenges National Science Challenge (RNC2). These PhD projects will use output from RSQSim software for all known active faults in New Zealand and its immediate offshore areas. The PhDs are to focus on the following research:

  • PhD 1; Use artificial intelligence to assess synthetic earthquake catalogues and their implications for earthquake processes (University of Canterbury and GNS Science),
  • PhD 2; Model tsunamis and develop tsunami hazard models for offshore synthetic earthquakes (Victoria University of Wellington, GNS Science and NIWA),
  • PhD 3; Evaluation of tsunami and earthquake early warning systems for synthetic earthquake catalogues (Victoria University of Wellington, GNS Science and EQC),
  • PhD 4; Investigate the effects of ground motion amplification in areas of high topography and its role in landslide triggering (GNS Science and University of Canterbury).

Computer literacy (e.g. Matlab, Python), knowledge of New Zealand seismotectonics, and competency in probability and statistics are desirable. The candidates should expect to interact with a multidisciplinary team of earthquake geologists, geodynamic modellers, seismologists, waveform modellers and statisticians from GNS Science, NIWA, EQC and the Universities. The research results will have global applications to seismically active regions and will be published in national and international peer-reviewed journals.

Direct all initial enquiries to Bill Fry (GNS Science, or Andy Nicol (University of Canterbury, A curriculum vitae, cover letter, and contact details of at least two referees should be sent to Bill or Andy by 30 August 2020. In your correspondence and cover letter indicate if you have a preferred PhD project.

posted: 07 July 2020     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.