Signals of Sea-Level Rise

Signals from the awakening giant of sea-level rise: glacier change detection using seismology and machine learning

Degree type


Closing date

30 August 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore


$28,597pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

The project aims to use data-driven computational techniques, such as machine learning applied to seismic signals to detect and understand active glacier processes, with a focus on those processes due to glacial hydrology and basal sliding. Major glaciers in locations such as Greenland and West Antarctica are currently undergoing fundamental changes, in line with global climate change predictions. The understanding of seismic signals generated by glaciers offers a pragmatic way to progress knowledge in this area as many key processes are intermittent or hidden from view.

Research outcomes from the work include progressing the capability for the early detection of exceptional or accelerated change in major outlet glaciers using seismic signals, and recommendations for future instrument deployments in East Antarctica. Opportunities may exist for fieldwork and related data collection if this is of interest to the candidate.

The candidate will gain research experience at the intersection of computational geophysics, glaciology and global environmental science, and gain a wealth of transferable skills that potentially connect to academic, government or industry career paths.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Prof Anya Reading


The scholarship supporting this project 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 fee scholarship for up to 4 years (successful domestic applicants will be awarded an RTP Fees Offset and successful international applicants will be awarded a University of Tasmania Fees Offset)

The scholarship supporting this project is funded by the University of Tasmania and the Australian Government through the Research Training Program.


The project is open to domestic (Australia 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 PhD minimum entry requirements.

Applicants from the following disciplines are encouraged to apply:

  • Geophysics, mathematics, physics, glaciology, computer sciences, quantitative environmental sciences

Selection Criteria

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

Additional selection criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Demonstrated experience or interest in interdisciplinary research

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your 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 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 by the advertised outcome date.

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