Apply: PhD & Masters Scholarship Top-Up in Ocean Dynamics


Wednesday, 20th May 2015

The School of Mathematics and Statistics at UNSW Australia (Sydney) is offering a top-up scholarship of $5,000 per year to students interested in pursuing Doctoral or Masters level research in the area of Submesoscale Ocean Dynamics. This scholarship is intended to complement the Australian Postgraduate Award or International Postgraduate Research Scholarship of $25,849 per annum, for a total tax-free stipend of $30,849 per year. The students will be jointly supervised by A/Prof Moninya Roughan and Dr Shane Keating, starting in 2016.

About the project: Submesoscale ocean dynamics (~100m to 100km) play a critical but poorly understood role in the ocean, from planet-scale to plankton scale. The impact of submesoscale fronts on heat and carbon exchange between the deep ocean and the atmosphere represents a key uncertainty in Earth's climate. Submesoscale eddies modulate the ocean food chain from top predators to phytoplankton. And submesocales strongly impact the dispersion of ocean-borne material such as nutrients, marine biota, and pollutants. Potential research topics include:

Ocean dynamics as a driver of productivity. The student will configure a coupled hydrodynamic biogeochemical version of the Regional Ocean Modeling System to understand the role of submesoscale eddies in the 3D distribution of chlorophyll-a in the East Australian Current.

Diagnosing submesoscale ocean eddies. The student will use a combination of ocean model output and observational data from coastal radar, moorings, and satellite observations to quantify the properties of submesoscale eddies, including lifespan, size, and shedding frequencies. 

Stochastic parameterization of submesoscale. The student will examine novel stochastic and Lagrangian methods for representing unresolved submesoscale dynamics in ocean climate models. The methods will be tested using both numerical and observational ocean data.

About the School: The School of Mathematics and Statistics is one of the largest and most important centres for mathematical research in Australia. The School has an active and highly interdisciplinary research program in the field of Physical Oceanography with strong links to the UNSW Coastal Oceanography Lab, the Sydney Institute for Marine Science, and the UNSW Climate Change Research Center. More information about the UNSW School of Mathematics and Statistics can be found at:

Domestic (Australia or New Zealand) applicants: Doctoral or Masters positions are contingent upon the student receiving an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA). Domestic applicants should follow the procedures detailed at The deadline for domestic applicants is Midnight AEDT 16 October 2015.

International applicants: Doctoral and Masters positions are contingent upon the student receiving an International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS). International applicants should follow the procedures detailed at The deadline for international applicants is Midnight AEST 24 August 2015.

For expressions of interest and further information please contact Dr Shane Keating at