WaterRA has one PhD project requiring a student, please continue to check this page as it is updated regularly as projects become available.
Sponsored Project proposals are open all year round. WaterRA invites students with the preferred skills or experience to submit applications for the projects below. Scroll down or click on the links below to view all the projects seeking students...
Due to the current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 virus, the PhD Opportunity Evaluating Riparian Buffer Zones in Temperate Streams has been deferred until September 2020.
Applications can still be submitted, however the selection process will not commence until September 2020 with a view to a Semester 1, 2021 start date. Please note, that this is subject to change depending on how the COVID-19 situation unfolds.
WaterRA, Barwon Water and Deakin University still encourage students to continue to submit applications in the meantime.
Project No 4548
Evaluating Riparian Buffer Zones in Temperate Streams
Dr Ty Matthews firstname.lastname@example.org
Brigid Creasey email@example.com
The Barwon River is the major source of drinking water for the key regional Victorian city of Geelong and its immediate surrounds. It is also the region’s most important and prominent river in terms of its cultural, ecological, recreational, commercial, and social values. The upper reach of the (East) Barwon River currently faces a number of challenges that pose downstream risks to both water quality and water security. The primary issue is the infestation of invasive weed species, Willows and Glyceria, that have significantly affected river hydrology. In particular, Willow and Glyceria adversely affect water quality and yield; choking the waterways such that it results in restricted and / or diverted lateral flows that increase flooding of adjacent land. This presents a water security issue for Barwon Water through a diminished capacity to transfer water (up to 60 ML per day) from West Barwon Reservoir to the WBIC via a 3 km section of the East Barwon River. Looking more broadly, infestation of Willows and Glyceria has also adversely affected Corangamite CMA’s environmental water release. If Willow infestation worsens, failure of the river embankment could result in the lateral diversion of flows and the river may no longer be a viable option for transfer of water to the WBIC, for environmental water release, as well impacts on local landholders.
Within this context—and following extensive consultation with government agencies, landholders, and other parties—Barwon Water has established a project that will see crown frontage along the 3km stretch of the East Barwon Branch transferred to a Barwon Water-led committee of management. Under the auspices of this committee, Barwon Water will undertake Willow removal, streambed stabilisation, revegetation and stock exclusion—with the substantive aim of improving the water quality and meeting its bulk-transfer entitlements, and the ancillary aim of improving overall waterway health including renaturation to promote the flourishing of a native ecology.
Benefits to you
The successful candidate will receive a PhD Scholarship package up to the value of $115,000 over 3 years including:
Additional benefits include working directly with Barwon Water on an industry knowledge gap where you will see the direct impact of your research outcomes inform future decision making of the surrounding environment. At Deakin University, under the guidance of experienced supervisors you will learn to master research methodology techniques and strategies to assist you whilst undertaking the research project.
Through Barwon Water, Deakin University and WaterRA networks you will be introduced to multiple stakeholders in Government, community groups, local landowners industry and research experts.
Preferred skills/experience required
We are looking for an enthusiastic researcher who has a passion for working with diverse stakeholders to make a positive contribution toward advancing both scientific and environmental management knowledge associated with ecological restoration activities. Ideally, the candidate will have some experience in hydrological, water quality, and ecological assessment, which includes being comfortable working in both the field and the laboratory. Additional experience in environmental engineering will also be valuable, but not essential. Therefore, it will be beneficial for the candidate to have experience with the following areas of expertise:
Personal Attributes: The candidate should demonstrate the following personal attributes:
Degree Requirements: The following academic qualifications are important:
How to Apply:
Students, if you are interested in the above PhD project, contact the above supervisor/s to discuss your suitability to the project. Students must enrol and secure a primary scholarship at Deakin University. Visit the Deakin University website to ensure you meet their eligibility criteria*.
Employed water professionals wishing to undertake the above PhD Project as professional development are not eligible for a primary scholarship, please contact the supervisors to discuss your suitability to the project and visit the Deakin University website to ensure you meet their enrolment criteria*.
Click for relevant student information WaterRA PhD student information
*Deakin University links
The successful candidate will be located at Deakin University – Waurn Ponds campus, Geelong, Victoria, Australia, 3216 and/or Queenscliff Marine Station, Queenscliff, Victoria, Australia, 3225
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a formal interview in Geelong on Thursday, 16 April 2020.
Project No XXXX-XX
Full project proposal can be found here