Tidal melting of Antarctic ice shelves since Last Glacial Maximum

Degree type


Closing date

24 September 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore

About the research project

During the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) ice sheets were substantially increased in size compared to present day, resulting in sea levels lower by 120-130m globally. Modelling suggests this reduction in ocean volume resulted in dramatic increases in ocean tide amplitudes (Arbic et al., 2004; Egbert et al., 2004; Griffiths and Peltier, 2008; Griffiths and Peltier, 2009) with consequently increased tidal current speeds. Tidal currents are now known to play an important role in present-day basal melting of Antarctica’s ice shelves (Makinson et al., 2011; Mueller et al., 2012). The interaction between the Antarctic ice sheet and tidal currents during and after LGM has not yet been examined.

The project aims to develop our understanding of what caused the ice sheet retreat since the Last Glacial Maximum. It will test the hypothesis that large tidal currents resulted in enhanced tidal melting of the ice shelves and this varied over time.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Chen Zhao


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,597 per annum (2021 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years;
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000; and
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international applicants who are already in Australia (onshore) at the time of submitting their application.

Due to current Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions the University cannot accept applications from international applicants who are currently overseas.

Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • This project will suit candidates with a strong numerical background such as quantitative physical science/engineering

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Computer programming skills would be advantageous for the analysis of simulation results

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select the project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Chen Zhao, if you have any questions about the project; and
  3. Click here to submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email.

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