MSc position – bacterial lipids

We invite expressions of interest for the following MSc project, based in the School of Geography, Environment & Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) and GNS Science, New Zealand.

Development and application of a bacterial lipid-based model for reconstructing Late Quaternary climate change in New Zealand.

A preliminary bacterial lipid-temperature model developed from modern lacustrine sediments in southern New Zealand shows good potential for reconstructing past climate in the region. We now seek to build on this work by both expanding the calibration set and further applying the temperature model. This is an excellent opportunity for someone with a background in chemistry/organic (geo)chemistry and an interest in climate reconstruction to undertake MSc study involving field and lab work, as well as data generation, analysis and modelling. The project will involve monitoring of modern biomarker(lipid)-environmental relationships in modern lakes, the development of inference models for temperature reconstruction and application to a late Quaternary site in southern NZ.

The successful candidate will receive a stipend to cover two years of study based at VUW and GNS Science in Wellington with work also undertaken at University of Kiel, Germany. This project forms part of a wider project funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund.

If you are interested in this position please contact either Marcus Vandergoes or Rewi Newnham at immediately and by November 15th 2011 at the latest.