PhD position: Arsenic mobilisation in redox-dynamic coastal wetlands


We are seeking to appoint a motivated and suitably qualified PhD candidate to conduct research exploring the geochemical behaviour and co-cycling of arsenic, iron and sulfur in coastal wetlands with dynamic hydrology and fluctuating redox conditions.

The PhD position is based at Southern Cross GeoScience, which is a research centre within Southern Cross University (SCU). Southern Cross GeoScience is host to a young and dynamic group of researchers focused on Environmental Geoscience disciplines (website:

In a recent nation-wide assessment, SCU was one of only three Universities in Australia to attain the top ranking in the field of geochemistry, which is the primary discipline area of this scholarship. The University is located in sub-tropical northern NSW and the region offers a high quality of life.

Project title: Arsenic mobilisation in redox-dynamic coastal wetlands – effects of sea-level rise

This position will investigate arsenic behaviour in iron and sulfur-rich coastal wetlands under oscillatory redox conditions and dynamic flow regimes. Specifically, the student will explore interactions between geochemical and hydrological processes that act as key controls on the mobilisation, flux and attenuation of arsenic in iron-rich coastal lowlands at risk of inundation by rising sea-levels. The student will undertake both controlled laboratory-based studies and field-based investigations in Australian coastal wetland systems.


Honours degree or equivalent in Environmental Geochemistry or similar subject. The applicant’s qualifications should include experience with redox and sorption geochemistry, and experience studying environmental systems via field or laboratory experiments. Very high degree of proficiency in both written and spoken English (strict criteria apply for non-native English speakers). The applicant’s academic background must be strong enough to qualify her/him for a scholarship, stipend and fee (tuition) waiver. Applicants are advised to see information on the Southern Cross Universities webpage(s) to evaluate her/his prospects. Funding:

The successful candidate will be offered a full-time PhD position. Contingent on satisfactory performance, this will be extended to a total period of 3 years, with the specific intent that a PhD thesis is submitted within this period.

The project includes a 3-year scholarship ($28,000 pa) and an additional stipend to cover research costs of up to $5000 AUD pa will be available.

The position is fully funded and associated with an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship awarded to Associate Prof. Scott Johnston.

For informal inquiries about the position or to apply, email Associate Prof. Scott Johnston: Applications must include a CV, academic grade transcripts, copies of previous research outputs and a cover letter outlining research interests and research experience/skills.

Applications close: 30th November 2012.

Expected start date: March 2013.



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