Tracing Antarctic Meltwater

Determining the geochemical signature of Antarctic Meltwater during current and past climate states

Degree type


Closing date

1 July 2023



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

Current predictions of future sea-level rise are very uncertain because the processes governing Antarctic Ice Sheet change in a warming climate are poorly constrained. It is not known how quickly, and where, the ice sheet will melt in the future. East Antarctica holds the largest proportion of continental ice in low-lying basins hundreds to thousands of meters below sea level, making these sectors susceptible to warming ocean temperatures. Past climate records from marine sediment cores can provide data on past ice sheet behaviour during previous warm climate states that can help lower model-based uncertainties on future sea-level rise.

This project will focus on tracking the geochemical signature of meltwater input and dissolved solute load released from the ice sheet in both the current climate state and in the past. The research will apply both elemental and isotopic methods in chemical oceanography and paleoceanography. The modern observations will inform marine sediment-based approaches, including understanding sediment-porewater interactions to assess geochemical proxies for recording episodes of past glacial meltwater release during warm climate periods. The project will be based on new samples collected on an upcoming field campaign to Antarctica. To participate in fieldwork in January 2023 please contact Taryn Noble as soon as possible to commence your PhD application.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Taryn Noble


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 $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.


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:

  • Applications are open for domestic and international applicants for students with a strong foundation in chemistry and geosciences
  • Critical thinking
  • Advanced oral and written communication
  • Quantitative skills
  • Experience working in chemical laboratories and/or in the field is desirable
  • English language score must be above the minimum UTAS entry requirement
  • 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:

  • Critical thinking skills
  • Relevant science degree with chemistry and/or geoscience
  • Good communication (writing, oral) and quantitative skills
  • Experience working in a laboratory or in the field

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • A background in geochemistry, geology or chemical oceanography would be advantageous
  • Quantitative data analysis approaches and tools

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Taryn Noble 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 July 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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