Earth-Ice Interactions from Seismic Signals

Deep Earth Controls on Glacial Isostatic Adjustment in East Antarctica: Probing Remote Worlds using Seismic Signals

Degree type


Closing date

29 October 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore

About the research project

The 3D structure and rheology of the asthenosphere and lithosphere (deep Earth) beneath Antarctica provides an important control on patterns of Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA), which in turn constrains observational estimates of loss of ice from major ice sheets that is a significant contributor to sea level rise.  This project will make use of stochastic approaches to test the sensitivity of the seismic response to variable deep Earth rheology, these have been used with success applied to seismic data from the Mars Insight mission.

The research will develop a new methodology for the use of seismic data from isolated stations to constrain the material properties of the deep Earth beneath the station.  The newly developed technique will be applied to previously collected data in the Casey-Mawson region of East Antarctica, and other regions of Antarctica of key interest for GIA.  Output models of rheological properties will be produced in dialogue with interdisciplinary researchers, and the findings will be communicated in terms of the impact of interactions between the solid Earth and ice sheets on predictions of sea level rise.

The student will gain experience in advanced analysis methods in seismology, multivariate methods and computational physics, while helping to prepare humanity to manage climate change risk.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Prof Anya Reading


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
  • 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:

  • Honours degree in geophysics, physics, applied mathematics or related fields

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Experience of scientific programming

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, Prof Anya Reading, 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 contact details of two 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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