Tephra Geochemical Fingerprinting

Regional Tephra Geochemical Fingerprinting and Volcanic Facies Analysis in the Kermadec Arc

Degree type


Closing date

1 November 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International


$31,500pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

We are seeking a PhD student in geochemistry and volcanology to undertake a fully funded 3.5 year PhD project (PhD stipend, international fees and research costs). The student will chemically fingerprint the provenance of multiple tephra across the Kermadec arc/Rangitāhua, and evaluate their eruption, transport and depositional processes. The candidate should have an excellent background in igneous geochemistry, volcanic facies analysis and command of scientific writing.

The student will work on marine core samples from a 2022 voyage in the Kermadec arc and work on cores acquired in basins adjacent to Havre, Macauley, Raoul and Healy volcanoes. This exceptional dataset will provide a benchmark analysis of submarine and subaerial volcanism in an intra-oceanic arc and unravel the complexity of various eruption and transport mechanisms. Although chiefly based on geochemical analyses, the project will extend to facies analysis of the bedform and the various volcanic components to inform on eruption and transport processes from a multidisciplinary perspective. The student will collaborate remotely with specialists who will pick Foraminifera and analyse 14C ages.

This project is part of a larger project aiming at understanding the behaviour of submarine silicic caldera eruptions and their impact. The project is funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) through a successful ARC Discovery Project. The full project will determine the conditions that lead to explosive eruptions underwater, the dynamics of associated sediment flows, and under what conditions can these events trigger tsunami. Expected outcomes include an unprecedented reconstruction of the architecture of submarine caldera volcanoes, regional chronostratigraphic reconstructions, new innovative models applicable globally for a richer understanding of volcanic tsunami and eruptions that shape the seafloor. This project will provide significant benefits through mitigation of global marine natural hazards, and by improving knowledge on the volcanic hosts of ore deposits.

The student would be part of the dynamic Volcanology Group at the University of Tasmania. The School of Natural Sciences hosts the world-class Centre for Ore Deposit and Earth Sciences (CODES) and Central Science Laboratory. In addition to the local supervisors, the student will benefit from national and international advisors, including Prof. Steffen Gallagher at U. Melbourne, Dr. Steffen Kutterolf at GEOMAR, Prof. Michael Manga at UC Berkeley, Dr Emily Lane at NIWA, Prof. Y. Yokoyama at U. Tokyo, and others.

Tasmania's breathtaking landscapes, pristine beaches, and abundant wildlife create an awe-inspiring environment to explore and appreciate. There are endless opportunities for outdoor adventures, hiking, surfing, and sightseeing. Hobart is a lovely small city snuggled between the wilderness of forested mountains and the vast Southern Ocean. Hobart has a rich cultural scene, with a thriving arts community, museum and art galleries, and various festivals and events throughout the year. The city's historic charm is evident in its well-preserved Georgian buildings, where bustling markets, cafes, bars and restaurants can be found. Embracing the slower pace of life, the student will find Hobart to be a place of warmth (despite the cool climate) and authenticity.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Martin Jutzeler


The successful applicant will receive a scholarship which provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $31,500 per annum (2023 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.

Other funding opportunities and fees

For further information regarding other scholarships on offer, and the various fees of undertaking a research degree, please visit our Scholarships and fees on research degrees page.


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

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applications are open to Domestic/ International/ Onshore applicants
  • Applications are open to applications for applicants with a strong volcanology, igneous geochemistry and/or marine geosciences background only
  • English language score must be above minimum entry requirements for this project
  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

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.

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Martin Jutzeler to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • 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.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 1 November 2023.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

Following the 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.

Apply now Explore other projects

Why the University of Tasmania?

Worldwide reputation for research excellence

Quality supervision and support

Tasmania offers a unique study lifestyle experience