Southern Cross University is offering a PhD scholarship to study the role and contribution of wetland trees in mediating methane emissions to the atmosphere.
This PhD position will be based within the vibrant Southern Cross GeoScience research centre, based at Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus in eastern Australia. Further details on the benefits of living and working in this beautiful part of the world can be found at Southern Cross GeoScience - Future students.
Wetlands are among earth's most efficient ecosystems for carbon sequestration, yet this can be offset by emission of methane - a potent greenhouse gas. Recent research indicates that wetland trees can be an important pathway for methane emissions. Many aspects of this pathway and its underlying processes are largely unquantified and remain relatively unknown. This rapidly evolving topic has considerable scope for new scientific discoveries and this position will build on our recent world-class research described in:
- Are methane emissions from mangrove stems a cryptic carbon loss pathway? Insights from a catastrophic forest mortality
- A Small Nimble In situ Fine-scale Flux method for measuring tree stem greenhouse gas emissions and processes
- Methane emissions from Melaleuca quinqueneriva tree stems regulated by local and seasonal hydrology in a subtropical forested-wetland
Activities: This scholarship and associated funding represents an opportunity to complete a PhD and conduct a program of research in environmental geochemistry at the interface of wetland soil/water/plant science. As part of a larger team, the successful candidate will contribute to directly measuring methane emissions from freshwater wetland trees species in Australian wetlands and will employ cutting-edge techniques, including portable greenhouse gas analysers and use of isotopic signatures. Investigations will include exploring the spatial, temporal and seasonal CH4 dynamics of tree-stems with a view to furthering our understanding of key processes, drivers and their overall significance in methane budgets.
The successful candidate would be part of a vibrant research group focusing on carbon cycling in wetland systems and will also have the opportunity to work with our international collaborators and to present your discoveries at international scientific conferences.