Student research topics in climate science

A suite of projects is offered by academic staff in the Climate Change Research
Centre (CCRC) at the University of New South Wales. If you are interested in pursuing a
PhD in Climate Science please contact the academic whose areas of research interest

Dr Gab Abramowitz - Climate model evaluation (e.g. model calibration techniques, data assimilation techniques, model independence assessment and the use of empirical models in climate research) and applied maths in climate research in the areas of neural networks and clustering algorithms, non-linear time series analysis/chaos theory, distribution theory, monte-carlo simulation techniques.

Dr Lisa Alexander - Climate variability and change, especially extreme events, global dataset development, observational analysis, global climate model validation and intercomparison, statistical modelling including extreme value theory, large scale modes of variability and climate drivers, data rescue.

Prof. Matthew England - Ocean dynamics, the ocean's thermohaline circulation, modes of
climate variability (including El Nino, Indian Ocean Dipole, Southern Annular Mode), and
Australian rainfall variability/change.

Dr Jason Evans - Land-atmosphere interactions, water cycle processes, remote sensing
of the land surface, land surface & hydrological modelling, regional climate modelling,
climate change impacts especially on fresh water resources and agriculture.

Dr Donna Green - Broad area of vulnerability to climate impacts, resilience, climate justice,
climate adaptation and mitigation options through changing domestic energy policy.
Impacts on remote communities and indigenous Australians are of particular interest.

Dr Melissa Hart - the impact of land-use, surface characteristics and anthropogenic activities on the climate of cities, quantification of the magnitude of the urban heat island (UHI), weather and climate sensitivity of energy consumption, air pollution meteorology, statistical climatology.

Dr Erik van Sebille – global ocean circulation and its relation to climate and marine biology. The way currents transport nutrients, heat, larvae and even plastics around the world, and how the different oceans are connected.

Dr Joe Kidston - Large-scale atmospheric dynamics, geophysical fluid dynamics, climate variability and change, storm track dynamics, tropical-extratropical interactions, GCM validation, atmospheric eddy length scale, stratospheric circulation.

Dr Angela M. Maharaj
Ocean’s role in interannual to inter-decadal and gyre to global scale processes which dominate climate variability/change, using satellite and in-situ observations: internal waves, mode waters, climate modes and primary productivity.

Dr Ben McNeil - Ocean carbon cycle and biogeochemistry: ocean acidification, ocean CO2
variability in the past, present and future, climate change impact on ocean.

Dr Katrin Meissner - Earth System Science, with special emphasis on abrupt climate change, as well as feedbacks and thresholds in the climate system. The role of the oceans in climate change/variability; Earth System Modelling (ocean, atmosphere, cryosphere, biosphere) addressing paleo- and future climate change. Paleoproxy data - model comparison, geophysical fluid dynamics.

Dr Steven Phipps - Climate system modelling, including atmosphere, ocean and sea ice modelling; palaeoclimate, including modelling, reconstruction using natural archives, and data-model synthesis; climate variability and change on decadal, centennial and millennial timescales; modes of climate variability, including El Niño-Southern Oscillation, the Indian Ocean Dipole and the Southern Annular Mode.

Prof. Andy Pitman - Land surface processes, global and regional modelling, projections of
future mean and extreme climate, vegetation dynamics, carbon cycle, abrupt climate
change, probabilistic projections of climate change.

Dr Alex Sen Gupta - Atmosphere, ocean and coupled climate modelling; IPCC model
intercomparison; climate change and variability in the Southern Ocean; modes of climate
variability, in particular the Southern Annular Mode and Indian Ocean Dipole and their
effect on regional climate variability and change.

Prof. Steve Sherwood - Atmospheric physics and dynamics, cloud and convective
processes, atmospheric aspects of climate change, climate feedbacks.

Scholarships are available for Australian students including Australian Postgraduate
and UNSW research excellence awards. See the Graduate Research School for
details of other available scholarships.

International students can access a variety of scholarship available to them including
UNSW International Research Scholarships. Several countries also offer scholarships
specifically for their citizens. For details go here.

The CCRC offers a $5,000 p.a. top up to all candidates who successfully obtain a PhD
scholarship. There are also additional funds available for travel, conferences etc.

For further information about the Endeavour Postgraduate Award, including eligible countries and details of the application process, click here.

For further information about the AusAID Development Scholarship, including participating countries and details of the application process, click here.

Latest news

Dr Michael Molitor Public lecture - De-carbonising for growth: why everyone is wrong about the costs of addressing climate change
20 April 2014
We will rapidly de-carbonize the global energy system not because we care sufficiently about the enormous risks flowing from a climate system profoundly modified by human activity but because, in the absence of this gigantic infrastructure investment opportunity, we will never generate sufficient economic growth between now and 2050. This inevitable outcome has dramatic implications for Australia's future energy supply and prosperity.

Plastic bottle caps found in the ocean (source: NOAA PIFSC) Ocean debris leads the way for castaway fisherman
05 February 2014
The fisherman who washed up on the Marshall Islands last weekend was very lucky to have stranded on a remote beach there. The currents in the Pacific Ocean would have inevitably taken him into the great garbage patch of the North Pacific, where he could then have been floating for centuries to come.

Man in heat wave Get used to heat waves: extreme El Niņo events to double
20 January 2014
Extreme weather events fuelled by unusually strong El Niņos, such as the 1983 heatwave that led to the Ash Wednesday bushfires in Australia, are likely to double in number as our planet warms.

More news...

Copenhagen Diagnosis logo

The Copenhagen Diagnosis

On 25th November 2009 members of The Climate Change Research Centre, as part of a group of 26 international climate scientists, were part of a major international release of a new report synthesizing the latest climate research to emerge since the last IPCC Assessment Report of 2007.


World map

There are no time-travelling climatologists: why we use climate models

In the absence of time-travelling climatologists, models are unrivalled tools for understanding our changing climate system. That is, climate models are scientific tools. We should recognise them as such and consider them with rigorous scientific, not political, scepticism.



The Big Engine 2: oceans and weather

Federation Fellow and 2008 Eureka Prize winner, Professor Matthew England of CCRC, on the latest research into the role oceans play on weather.


Smoke stack

The Science of Climate Change: Questions and Answers

Co-authored by Professor Steven Sherwood and Professor Matt England of CCRC, this Academy of Science report aims to summarise and clarify the current understanding of the science of climate change for non-specialist readers.


Ocean weather

The Big Engine 1: oceans and weather

Federation Fellow and 2008 Eureka Prize winner, Professor Matthew England of CCRC, on the latest research into the role oceans play on weather.


Tree rings

New insights into the climate of the past 2,000 years

A comprehensive new scientific study has revealed fresh insights into the climate of the past 2,000 years, providing further evidence that the 20th century warming was not a natural phenomenon. After 1900, increasing temperatures reversed a previous long-term cooling trend. This 20th Century warming has occurred simultaneously in all regions except Antarctica.



The dynamics of the global ocean circulation

The ocean is far from a stagnant body of water. Instead, it is constantly in motion, at speeds from a few centimetres per second to two metres per second in the most vigorous currents.


Plastic rubbish

Leave the ocean garbage alone: we need to stop polluting first

Recent plans to clean plastics from the five massive ocean garbage patches could do more damage to the environment than leaving the plastic right where it is.


Plastic rubbish

Charting the garbage patches of the sea

Just how much plastic is there floating around in our oceans? Dr Erik van Sebille from UNSW's Climate Change Research Centre has completed a study of ocean "garbage patches", and has found that in some regions the amount of plastic outweighs that of marine life.



UCC logo

Share | | RSS feed