PhD Student in Quaternary Paleoecology at VUW

Victoria University of Wellington leads New Zealand in world class scientific research, and the academic staff and postgraduate students comprising the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences (SGEES) are ranked first in geosciences of all universities in the country. SGEES’ success is anchored in a passion for planet Earth, the planet’s changing nature, and the processes that constantly reshape Earth through time. It is within this exciting multidisciplinary framework that we invite applications for a PhD studentship in Quaternary paleoecology.

The successful candidate will join a highly motivated, international team of scientists with specialties ranging from classic techniques, like tephrochronology and palynology, to cutting edge methodologies, like δ13C lipid biomarker analysis. We will investigate a key field area of the Southern Hemisphere – the Auckland maars – using multiproxy evidence. By interrogating laminated lake sediments, which span the Last Glacial Interval (LGI; the last 117,000 years), we will inform on South Pacific climate preceding the Last Glacial Maximum, during Marine Isotope Stages 3 to 5; abrupt climate events throughout the LGI; and the role of the southern westerlies in triggering and propagating climate change.

Within this multi-proxy framework, the successful candidate will develop climate reconstructions from pollen and chironomid records from two or more Auckland maar cores that span the LGI. They will have some experience in identifying chironomids and/or pollen, in generating stratigraphic records, and communicating those results via (inter)national conferences and peer-reviewed publications.

Applicants should hold a Masters in a relevant discipline such as Biology, Environmental Science, Physical Geography, or Geology; have a strong background in Quaternary sciences and/or limnology; and possess advanced skills in numerical techniques and analysing large data-sets.

The application closing date is the 31st of January, 2015. Full Scholarship funding is available for three years, starting from March 2015 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Please send your application to Prof. Rewi Newnham, School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington, New Zealand, by mail or preferably as a single PDF by email to Include a letter outlining your suitability for the post, a detailed CV, contact details of two referees, and a list of publications and successful funding applications.