Understanding and Mitigating Hazards

PhD opportunity

Key Topics:

Project Status:

Pyrogeography of Tasmania - understanding how vegetation type and bushfire history influences fuel types and smoke emissions

Supervisors: Professor David Bowman (UTas), Dr Grant Williamson (UTas).

A key strategy to protect people from wildfire is the use of planned burns to reduce fuel loads, but the exposure of human populations to smoke pollution is a serious side-effect of this type of management. We are seeking a PhD student to join a team of fire ecologists, epidemiologists and atmospheric modelers funded by an ARC Linkage Grant who are undertaking studies to identify and quantify the trade-offs between the health risks from inhaling smoke from planned burns and the effects of uncontrolled bushfires in Southeastern Australia.

The PhD project will involve undertaking a geographic survey of Tasmania to investigate the relationship between fuel types and flammability across a wide spectrum of vegetation types: for each vegetation type we will quantify the relationship between fuel loads and time since last fire.  The amount of smoke each fuel type produces when burnt will be quantified to provide atmospheric modelers with ‘emission factors’.

The project builds on a number of current pyrogeographic projects run by Professor Bowman.

What kind of person could do this project? This is a field and lab-based and study requiring the ability to collect field data and samples, undertake routine lab analyses, with competency with geographic information systems and statistical analyses.   An ability to work across disciplines and be an effective member of a research team is mandatory.

Selection of applicants will be based on merit. Applicants should have either (a) a 1st Class Honours degree or Masters equivalent, or (b) a combination of equivalent qualifications and/or sector based experience ideally with publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals.  It is a requirement that applicants have excellent communication skills in English (both written and spoken).

For more information, please contact: David Bowman <David.Bowman@utas.edu.au>

Send an enquiry

More information

Lyndsey Wright

Contract Research and Education Manager, Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC

Phone: 03 9412 9600
Email: lyndsey.wright@bnhcrc.com.au

Level 5 / 340 Albert Street
East Melbourne, Victoria 3002

Postgraduate Scholarships Application Process

Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC postgraduate scholarships are available for students pursuing research higher degrees in the bushfire research fields, in line with Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC projects.

Both Full and Top Up scholarships and project support funding are available for outstanding students, with preference given to the provision of top up scholarships.

Current funding amounts are:

  • Full Scholarships of up to $28,000 per annum for three and a half years.
  • Top Up scholarships of $10,000 per annum for three and a half years to holders of Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA) and University Research Scholarships.

Bushfire & Natural Hazard CRC Scholarship Application Kit

You are welcome to submit enquiries using the form on this page. However, you must complete this form to make an application.

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All the resources from our 2016 conference

Research program in detail

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2015-2016 year in review

Bushfire planning with kids ebook

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