[ES_JOBS_NET] PhD - peatland carbon and hydrology in New Zealand

David Campbell davec at waikato.ac.nz
Sat Dec 20 03:41:08 MST 2014

We are looking for a motivated and energetic PhD candidate to undertake
research within threatened peatland ecosystems in New Zealand.

*Project description*

New Zealand’s lowland peatlands were formed in a warm-temperate climate by
members of an unusual Australasian vascular plant family, the Restionaceae.
In the Waikato Region of the North Island, 80% of the original 94,000 ha of
peat wetlands has been drained for agriculture, and the remnant peatlands
range from the 9,000 ha near-intact Kopuatai bog to the remnant 100 ha
Moanatuatua bog. This latter site is surrounded by farms developed on
deeply drained peat and the absence of buffer zones means that its water
table is relatively deep. However, it represents an important refuge for
rare species and its peat preserves a valuable palaeoenvironmental record.
We have research questions focussed on the functioning and restoration of
this ecosystem, such as:

-          How do the ecosystem carbon and water balances compare to a more
pristine bog, and how sensitive are they to climatic and hydrological

-          How have peat accumulation and degradation rates been affected
by the history of surrounding land drainage and intensification?

-          What restoration strategies might ensure this ecosystem
continues to function?

An important aspect of the research will be the maintenance of eddy
covariance towers and other measurement infrastructure at Kopuatai
(operational since 2011) and Moanatuatua (to be established in early 2015).

*Award details*

Three years of PhD student funding are available at $25,000 (NZD) +
enrolment fees per year.

This project is aligned with a NZ-wide wetland restoration research
programme, so collaboration with other peatland scientists and land
managers will be expected. The candidate’s first six months of PhD
enrolment will be focussed on developing a formal research proposal, as
well as carrying out initial field-based research.

*Application process*

Please prepare a brief statement of interest, CV, transcripts and contact
information for two referees and send to: Dr Dave Campbell, School of
Science, University of Waikato, davec at waikato.ac.nz. The position will
remain open until filled. For more information about University of Waikato
and postgraduate studies, please visit

*Our research group*

Visit our website, http://waiber.com/, to see the range of research
questions investigated, and publications produced, by our students and

Dave Campbell

School of Science

The University of Waikato


New Zealand

davec at waikato.ac.nz
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