EARTH'S PAST FUTURE

 PROJECTS AND PhDs

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THE TEAM

INTRO

EARTH'S PAST

FUTURE

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Ancient air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice from the Last ('super') Interglacial (130,000 years ago)

LESSONS FROM THE PAST

Time present and time past

Are both perhaps present in time future,

And time future contained in time past

THOMAS STEARNS ELIOT (1888–1965)

 

Imagine a world of wildly escalating temperatures, apocalyptic flooding, devastating storms and catastrophic sea level rise. This might sound like a prediction for the future or the storyline of a new Hollywood blockbuster but it is something quite different: it’s our past. In a day and age when we’re bombarded with worrying forecasts for future climate, it seems hard to believe that such things could come to pass. Yet almost everywhere we turn, the landscape is screaming out that the world is a capricious place. The problem is that if we don’t tune in, the message is lost. We need to decipher the past and learn from it.

The Earth's Past Future Project represents a team of scientists dedicated to understanding how the planet has changed in the past and what this means for the future. Based at research institutions around the world and working from the poles to the tropics, we search the globe for geological, chemical, and biological records of past environmental change. Drilling polar ice sheets and glaciers, sinking cores into lake muds, boring  living and buried trees, and searching the ocean floor for ancient deposits, we're extending the historical observational record of the last two centuries or so back tens of thousands of years. By finding out what happened when and why, we are trying to reduce the uncertainties surrounding  climate projections and help plan for the future.

 

If you would like to support our work do please get in contact.

We'd love to hear from you.

PhD PROJECTS

 

The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH) is a major new research and education initiative that brings together leading Australian universities with strategically important Australian and international partners.

 

The goal is to tell the epic story of Australia's rich and distinctive natural and human history by revolutionising our knowledge of the events and processes that have shaped this nation, and combining that knowledge with cutting-edge modelling techniques to manage and protect our natural and cultural resources into the future. You can learn more about how CABAH is discovering Australia’s epic story at https://epicaustralia.org.au. To achieve this ambitious goal, we are seeking enthusiastic and talented PhD students to join our team. At the University of New South Wales we have identified several palaeoclimate projects:

 

1. Dendroclimatic reconstruction of northern Australia: Extending the Australian tropical climate record beyond CE 1800.

2. Reconstructing Australia’s Last Interglacial climate (130-115 ka BP): A window into the future

3. Reconstruction of palaeoclimate modes from Indonesia based on teak (Tectona grandis) tree-ring chronologies.

4. Potential of dendroclimatic reconstructions from the Papua New Guinea Highlands.

 

If you have other ideas you’d like to explore please contact us at c.turney@unsw.edu.au.

 

Significant funding has been committed to these projects, which involve cross-institutional supervision in a variety of disciplines across CABAH's nodes at the Australian National University (Canberra), James Cook University (Cairns and Townsville), University of Adelaide and Flinders University (Adelaide), Monash University (Melbourne), the University of Tasmania (Hobart), and the University of Wollongong.

 

As a UNSW-based PhD student in CABAH you will be joining a larger community. You will participate in regular Masterclasses, Short Courses and Thematic Workshops, with a transdisciplinary emphasis, to improve your technical, professional and communication skills. Cross-node researcher exchange opportunities will also be integral to your CABAH research training experience. Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders will have access to additional support through dedicated Indigenous Australian initiatives such as mentoring, bursaries and top-up grants. Female researchers will be supported through a range of initiatives, including internships and travel grants.

 

Applicants must have suitable discipline-related educational qualifications and should apply through the University of New South Wales (Sydney) online application system:

 

https://research.unsw.edu.au/submit-application

 

Domestic students have all manner of funding schemes available through UNSW including the Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) and the prestigious Scientia studentship schemes. Full details can be found at https://research.unsw.edu.au/graduate-research-scholarships.

 

There are also a variety of postgraduate funding schemes for international applicants, including the University International Postgraduate Award (UIPA), details of which can be found at https://research.unsw.edu.au/international-research-scholarships.

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