2024 HDR Scholarship - Marine heat waves off Western Australia and their impacts on marine ecosystems

Updated: 23 days ago

Status: Open

Applications open: 30/04/2024
Applications close: 29/05/2024

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About this scholarship

The project aims at identifying and characterising coastal heatwaves off Western Australia over the past 30 years using a combination of longterm in situ and satellite observations, literature surveys and ocean data reanalyses. The goal is also to identify large-scale physical drivers of these heatwaves. The results will be combined with other ecosystem observations from the other parts of the overall project. 

Data will include long-term (~25 years) records of satellite ocean colour. The ocean colour record will not only be analysed in terms of phytoplankton chlorophyll concentration; the phytoplankton functional groups will also be derived from several existing approaches, in search of possible impacts of heat waves on the composition of the phytoplankton community. 

Data from the upcoming NASA PACE mission (Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem) might also be used when available (mission launched early 2024). 

Another part of the work might consider the impact of variations in water bulk optical properties and of reflective properties of the seafloor on heat deposition and the corresponding heating of the water column. This work will be in collaboration with physical oceanographers at UWA.

  • Future Students

  • Faculty of Science & Engineering
    • Science courses

  • Higher Degree by Research

  • Australian Citizen
  • Australian Permanent Resident
  • New Zealand Citizen
  • Permanent Humanitarian Visa
  • International Student

  • Merit Based

This scholarship provides a living stipend of $35,000.00 p.a. pro rata indexed, based on full-time studies, for up to a maximum of 3 years

Scholarship Details


Any applicable Curtin HDR courses.

  • Honours / Master’s degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant area (e.g., satellite ocean colour remote sensing, modelling of phytoplankton primary productivity, physical or biogeochemical oceanography, coupled physical-biogeochemical ocean modelling)
  • Evidence of emerging independent research work, for example, a master thesis with an associated peer-reviewed publication or draft manuscript. 
  • Excellent skills in processing and analysing satellite remote sensing datasets. 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills 
  • Demonstrated programming skills in a Unix/Linux environment (use of, e.g., shell scripts, Fortran, Python, R or Matlab programming) 
  • Some evidence of capability to collaboratively work within a research team.

Application process

Applications are to be sent to [email protected] 

Please include your CV, references if any, a cover letter, and your answers to the selection criteria. 

Note: if you apply from overseas, please make yourself familiar with the Curtin requirements for being enrolled as a HDR student (“Higher Degree by Research”, which here means a PhD). A proof of English language proficiency (IELTS Academic with an overall score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0), a minimum average rank of 70% and some demonstrated experience with research (e.g., publications or evidence of a Master by research) are among the important criteria.

Enrolment Requirements

Recipients must complete their milestone 1 within 6 month of enrolment and remain enrolled on a full time basis for the duration of the scholarship


Please send your enquiry to Prof David Antoine, [email protected]

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