Expressions of Interest close on the 10th of October 2022.


A doctoral scholarship awarded to an outstanding candidate to undertake environmental research on Sub-Antarctic Islands

This committed PhD scholarship will be awarded to a qualified applicant with a background in environmental sciences or earth sciences.

This project aims to investigate how environmental change and human activities since industrialisation have impacted toxic metal transport and deposition on the southern coast of Australia, Tasmania and Sub-Antarctic islands. This project expects to fill knowledge gaps in the global mercury cycle using state-of-the-art multidisciplinary methodology.

The project integrates palaeoenvironmental sciences, atmospheric modelling, and chemistry to document the historical and spatial distribution of toxic metals in the Southern Ocean islands. The PhD candidate is not expected to have deep modelling skills; however, moderate skills in chemistry and environmental sciences will be required. Environmental scientists from the Australian National University, University of Tianjin, the British Antarctic Survey, and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation will provide support during the PhD project.

The candidate will conduct toxic metal analyses on lake sediments collected from Sub-Antarctic Islands accumulated over 6,000 years. The lake sediments are stored in the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, and the PhD student is expected to travel to the UK to work with the samples. Part of the palaeoecological analyses will be performed at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, and the candidate is expected to travel to Lucas Heights, NSW.

The PhD candidate will be based in Canberra at the Australian National University, and supervised by Dr Larissa Schneider, Professor Simon Haberle and Dr James Latimer at the Australian National University, and Dr Krystyna Saunders from the University of Tasmania.


Benefits of the scholarship

  • PhD Scholarship for 3 years 6 months, with a value of A$28,854 per annum.
  • a fee-relief scholarship for up to four years
  • academic supervision provided by ANU and UTAS
  • opportunity to conduct research contributing to meaningful change
  • opportunity to work with outstanding researchers from a range of institutions
  • access to ANU’s suite of professional development programs


Eligibility criteria

  • First class honours degree or equivalent in earth sciences, environmental sciences or chemistry.
  • Familiarity with environmental science research.


How to apply

  1. Expression of Interest: submit a google form with your cover letter, resume, transcripts, certificates and relevant publications (if any) by 10th of October 2022. You will be notified of the outcome by email.
  2. If your expression of interest is successful, you will be invited to an interview with representatives of the research team.
  3. The successful candidate will be invited to apply for candidature. Details on how to apply are available at:
  4. Complete and submit your application to ANU Fenner by 31 October 2022 for admission into the Fenner PhD program

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a zoom interview on Friday 14th October.

It is anticipated that the successful applicant will commence candidature in Semester 1 2023.

If you require further information, please contact:

Dr Larissa Schneider [email protected]