PhD project, sea-level reconstructions, Wellington, New Zealand

A PhD project in sea-level reconstructions at subsiding coastlines in New Zealand is being offered at the School of Geography, Environment & Earth Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.


A highly motivated student is sought to undertake a PhD project in late Holocene sea-level reconstruction. The PhD will be part of a new Research Programme funded by the New Zealand government that aims to develop improved sea-level rise projections for New Zealand to better manage and anticipate impacts.

Satellite and tide-gauge observations from around the globe show sea level rising at accelerating rates that are projected to continue. Whilst the underlying causes are well understood, much less certain is how different coastal areas will be affected. In tectonically active New Zealand, subsiding coastal areas will exacerbate the effects of ice melt and thermosteric expansion.

Recent GPS observations provide a basis for constraining vertical land movement (VLM) and targeting high-risk coastlines, but – much like the recent sea-level observations – they need to be evaluated in a longer term context. For example, we do not know if the direction of VLM observed at one locality has been maintained beyond the few decades for which observations exist.


The studentship will be based at Victoria University of Wellington, but with provision to work for ca. 3 months at University of York, UK. Depending on available skills and experience, the successful applicant will receive training in paleoecological techniques, modeling, dating methods, and field techniques.

Fully funded for three years, the studentship covers an annual stipend of $NZ25,000, research costs, and tuition fees. Studentships are available to non-resident New Zealand students (language requirements apply for non-native English speakers).


Applications close 30 April 2018.

To apply, please send a single pdf document containing CV (including details of academic transcripts), a cover letter that explains why this position interests you and the names of two academic referees who we may contact in support of your application.

Read the full position description and apply here:

Further information

Further inquiries to Rewi Newnham: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Roland Gehrels: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.