PhD Scholarships to study environmental
hydrology and water quality

at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand


We invite applications for three (3) PhD scholarships to study; nutrient sources, flow pathways and attenuation, high-resolution water quality monitoring and in-stream nutrient cycling in catchments dominated by pastoral landuse in the lower North Island. Our initial research indicates that nitrogen loads measured in the study rivers are significantly smaller than the estimates of nitrogen leached from the root zone in their catchments. We are looking for highly motivated research students to further develop novel methods and techniques to trace, measure, and model a range of processes including; diffuse nutrient flow pathways from farms to rivers, nitrogen attenuation capacity in different hydrogeologic subsurface environments, high-resolution water quality parameters in streams and rivers, and in-stream nutrient cycling in sensitive agricultural catchments. These research projects will include field work, laboratory analysis, and simulation modelling components.

The first PhD project (RSA) will aim to develop novel tools and techniques to measure and trace nutrient losses and flow pathways from diffuse sources in the study catchment. The successful candidate is likely to have an Honours or Masters degree or equivalent, preferably with some research experience, in an area related to soil science, catchment hydrology, environmental tracers, and water quality.

The second PhD project (RSB) will aim to develop methods and models to assess and map the influences of different catchment characteristics (e.g. topography, soil types, underlying geology, groundwater chemistry) on spatially variable nitrogen attenuation capacity in the subsurface environment across the study catchment. The successful candidate is likely to have a Masters degree or equivalent, preferably with some research experience, in an area related to the biogeochemistry of soils, geological strata and groundwater quality.

The third PhD project (RSC) will focus on high-resolution measurements and assessment of water quantity and quality parameters (e.g. nutrient concentrations and periphyton growth) and investigate in-stream nutrient cycling in selected streams and rivers in the study area. The successful candidate is likely to have an Honours or Masters degree or equivalent, preferably with some research experience, in an area related to catchment hydrology, surface water quality monitoring, and nutrient cycling in streams and rivers.

The successful candidates must demonstrate good communication and writing skills, show an ability to take initiatives, and be a good team member. The positions are open to both New Zealand and international candidates.

The PhD studies are part of a collaborative research programme between Massey University’s Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre (FLRC) and Horizons Regional Council. Horizons Regional Council manages the natural resources of the Manawatu-Wanganui Region of New Zealand. The Council has extensive datasets of; regional geographical information, the quantity and quality of surface waters and groundwaters, and hydrogeological surveys of the region ( https://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/manawatu-wanganui-region/). Massey University FLRC has a strong team of scientists in the area of environmental hydrology, hydrogeology, and soil and earth sciences (http://www.massey.ac.nz/~flrc/). The successful PhD candidates will enjoy full support, guidance and supervision from both University staff and Horizons Regional Council scientists. The PhD candidates will be enrolled within the Soil and Earth Sciences Group at the Turitea Campus of Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

The Scholarship will pay NZ $27,000 per annum plus fees for a maximum of 3 years.

Interested candidates are invited to send Dr. Ranvir Singh (r.singh@massey.ac.nz) their application including a short description of their research interests, skills and experiences along with a detailed CV. They should also include a sample of their scientific writing (e.g. a published article or conference paper), and three academic references by 15th October 2017. Please specify in your application which of the PhD positions described above that you are applying for.

For further information, please contact Dr Ranvir Singh (r.singh@massey.ac.nz) at Massey University.

Dr Ranvir Singh
Senior Lecturer in Environmental Hydrology and Soil Science
Soil and Earth Sciences Group, Massey University, Private Bag 11 222
Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
Phone: + 64 6 356 9099 extn 84868
Fax: + 64 6 350 5632
http://soilsearth.massey.ac.nz/profile.asp?StaffID=65388
http://soils-earth.massey.ac.nz/

posted: 05 September 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.