Identifying benthic impacts of OAE

Determining the benthic impacts and effectiveness of ocean alkalinity enhancement as a carbon dioxide removal tool

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International


$31,500pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

Human activities, particularly the emission of greenhouse gases, have resulted in a temperature rise of around 1°C globally since the industrial revolution. To limit the risks of global warming, it has been widely agreed to keep the warming under 2°C by 2100. To achieve this, many nations have pledged to reduce CO2 emissions and transition to a green energy future. However, this alone will not be enough, and governments will increasingly rely on negative emissions technologies (NETs) to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Ocean alkalinity enhancement (OAE) has been proposed as a promising method for carbon dioxide removal. OAE accelerates the natural process of rock weathering by spreading minerals in the ocean, thereby increasing the ocean's capacity to absorb atmospheric CO2. OAE has several advantages over other NETs as it is based on a natural process and may assist in mitigating the negative effects of ocean acidification. However, there are uncertainties regarding its effectiveness and potential impacts on marine biota, which need to be addressed prior to implementation at scale. The project proposes to conduct assessments of the effectiveness and ecosystem impacts of OAE in coastal benthic systems. The project will consist of three main components: laboratory studies on physiological impacts of OAE on key taxa (seaweed, seagrass, invertebrates), field based assessments of the community level impacts of OAE in situ, and assessment of the in situ effectiveness of OAE as a CDR tool. Successful applicants must be willing to undertake fieldwork on SCUBA (training possible if required) and a background knowledge in subtidal benthic ecology and/or carbonate chemistry would be seen as desirable.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Damon Britton


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 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.

Additional funding

If successful, applicants will also receive a top-up scholarship of $5,500 per annum for 3.5 years.

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.

Ensure your eligibility for the scholarship round by referring to our Key Dates.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • 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.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Knowledge of benthic ecological systems

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Scientific diving experience
  • Experience in carbonate chemistry measurements

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Damon Britton 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 25 September 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.

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