Natural and human-induced changes in Australia’s rainfall during the last millennium

Image credit: NASA

Exciting research opportunities are open for talented undergraduate and graduate students to study how Australia’s rainfall belts have fluctuated in response to natural and human-induced climate changes during the last millennium.

These projects contribute to an integrated research program funded by the Australian Research Council through the Future Fellowship scheme. It is based at the Research School of Earth Sciences (RSES) at the Australian National University (ANU), under the supervision of Associate Professor Nerilie Abram.

A number of research-based projects are available, and could be taken at the level of BSc/PhB Special Topics, BSc Honours, Masters or PhD.

Potential topics include:

  • Using modern and/or fossil coral cores collected from tropical reef sites in the eastern Indian Ocean to reconstruct variability of sea surface temperatures and rainfall in this region over the last 1000 years.
  • Assessments of natural and human-induced changes in Australia's rainfall variability, or the climate modes that influence Australian rainfall, using climate model output.
  • Performing climate model experiments to test mechanisms and persistence of changes in Australian rainfall.

For expressions of interest in these research projects please contact Nerilie Abram. For Masters and PhD-level applicants please include (1) a CV including the names of up to three academic referees, (2) a copy of your most recent academic transcript, and (3) a cover letter outlining your interest in the project, any past research experience, and relevant skill-sets.

Coral skeletons, like tree rings, have annual growth bands that can be analysed in detail to reconstruct past changes in ocean temperature and tropical rainfall.

Updated:  24 May 2017/Responsible Officer:  RSES Webmaster/Page Contact:  RSES Webmaster