PhD scholarship in coastal geomorphology and remote sensing

One PhD scholarship is available in coastal geomorphology and remote sensing in New Zealand. Apply by 7 February 2020.

Coastal pancake rocks

New Zealand has an exciting and diverse coastline with complex problems that attract top-level international researchers. A PhD scholarship in coastal geomorphology has become available, starting early 2020, at the University of Auckland, supervised by Associate Professor Mark Dickson and Dr Murray Ford.

The PhD project is focused around quantifying coastal change patterns in New Zealand over the past 70 years using a consistent methodology nation-wide. Historical aerial photographs will be compiled and used to provide national-scale coverage of shoreline positions over decades. Erosion hot spots will be identified and shoreline change patterns will be characterised.

The underlying causes and drivers of shoreline changes over the past several decades will be explored and understood. The diversity of coastal landscapes (sand, gravel, rocky and cliffed coasts, with varying degrees of influence from anthropogenic and tectonic factors) make New Zealand a unique place to understand the myriad complex and interacting processes and factors shaping shoreline change.

This work will be valuable to local government decision makers, who currently have a limited understanding of New Zealand’s coastal change patterns due to a lack of coastal change data, which is typically fragmented and inconsistently collected in different regions of New Zealand.

Our ideal candidate will be proficient in GIS and remote sensing, have experience using ArcGIS, have an understanding of coastal processes and geomorphology, excellent oral communication skills, ability to clearly present your findings to local government and other stakeholders, and excellent academic writing skills.

This project is fully funded (annual living stipend, university fees, and project costs) by the programme 'Adapting to New Zealand’s Dynamic Coastal Hazards' within the 'Resilience Challenge' National Science Challenge.

To apply

Please send a CV, covering letter, degree certificates and evidence of English proficiency (e.g. IELTS or TOEFL) as a single document (PDF preferred) by 7 Feburary 2020 to

Your covering letter should outline your suitability for the project and the skills you can contribute. Please include contact details of two academic referees in your CV.

If you are a successful candidate for funding, you will still need to apply for acceptance into the PhD programme at the University of Auckland. Note that in general, an MSc or BSc(Hons) with a research component (thesis) that is more than a quarter a year (ideally more than a half) of their study is needed to gain access to a PhD programme within New Zealand.

Please send any questions about applying to