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[ITRDBFOR] PhD Opportunity Kauri Dendrochronology

Chronological Thread 
  • From: "Gretel Boswijk" <g.boswijk AT>
  • To: itrdbfor AT
  • Subject: [ITRDBFOR] PhD Opportunity Kauri Dendrochronology
  • Date: Tue, 7 May 2019 18:19:16 -0400 (EDT)

Dear all,

We are looking for a suitable candidate for new PhD project on kauri
dendrochronology based at the University of Auckland and the National
Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in Auckland, New Zealand.
Full details are provided below. Please note, those interested should contact
Andrew Lorrey
(a.lorrey AT
in the first instance.

Please forward on to anyone you think may be interested.

Gretel Boswijk
School of Environment
University of Auckland


There is new support for a 3-year PhD project based at The University of
Auckland (UoA) and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research
(NIWA) in Auckland, New Zealand focused on kauri (Agathis australis) tree-ring
climate proxies. The PhD candidate will be under the supervision of Dr. Andrew
Lorrey (NIWA), Assoc. Professor Anthony Fowler and Dr. Gretel Boswijk (UoA).

The PhD candidate will explore how sub-annual kauri anatomy and/or trace
element geochemistry can be used to reconstruct past climate, including
periods with abrupt climate events. They will apply new analytical approaches
to kauri tree rings covering the New Zealand instrumental record era, parts of
the last millennium associated with changes in multi-decadal variability, and
late Holocene decades when solar particle bombardment from coronal mass
ejections occurred. They will develop climate-proxy calibrations, including
quantifying errors for anatomy- and/or chemistry-based estimates for local
surface climate, and determine whether New Zealand experienced impacts from
known extreme solar weather episodes. There is also latitude for the student
to explore peripheral topics that will give improved context for kauri-climate
reconstructions (i.e. development of secondary palaeoclimate proxy archives
from a different resource).

The PhD candidate’s work is nested within a Royal Society of New Zealand
Marsden Fund project (running through 2022) that is developing Marine Isotope
Stage 3 (MIS3; 60,000-27,000 years BP) radiocarbon series and climate
reconstructions from sub-fossil kauri. We expect the PhD project findings will
inform and assist MIS3 kauri tree-ring research by providing guidance on
climate reconstruction techniques via close collaborations with MIS3 kauri

Three-year funding that has been secured will see the PhD candidate begin
their study on or within 3 months from 15 July 2019. It includes a tax-free
stipend of NZ$27,900 per year plus support for some annual fees. There is also
a dedicated budget for analyses and travel to present research findings at
national and international conferences. The University of Auckland also has
Doctoral Scholarships for high calibre international students. Additional
part-time employment opportunities may be possible at NIWA (laboratory and
data analysis) and UOA (including tutoring).

Applicants should have a tertiary degree in earth/environmental science,
physical geography, chemistry, forestry or botany and also an advanced post-
graduate qualification (honours or MSc). Experience with wood anatomy and/or
trace element geochemistry analyses would be considered a bonus. Interested
parties should contact Andrew Lorrey
(a.lorrey AT
for more
information, and applicants are encouraged to lodge a cover letter and CV by 7
June 2019.

  • [ITRDBFOR] PhD Opportunity Kauri Dendrochronology, Gretel Boswijk, 05/07/2019

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