PhD position available at University of Victoria, Wellington

A fully funded PhD position is available at the Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

We seek a PhD applicant to address the following project:

Investigating the response of East Antarctic glaciers to deglacial warming

The ideal candidate will hold a Masters degree, having specialised in one or more of the following fields: glaciology, geomorphology, geochemistry, programming (e.g. Matlab, Python) and polar/alpine fieldwork.

This fully-funded (fees + stipend for living expenses) PhD project forms part of a research effort within the Antarctic Research Centre at Victoria University of Wellington in conjunction with the Past Antarctic Climates programme hosted at GNS Science in Wellington, and the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute (NZARI)

We encourage potential applicants to first discuss the project with, who will become the student’s principal doctoral advisor. We will then assist the most suitable candidate with the Victoria University graduate admission process. Note that an excellent GPA will be required.

Applications to the university are required by October 1st 2015.  A student starting in December 2015 would be eligible to join our field programme in the Transantarctic Mountains in January 2016.


Andrew Mackintosh


More details:

Investigating the response of East Antarctic glaciers to deglacial warming

Satellite observations show that parts of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet are experiencing decadal-scale thinning, and outlet glacier retreat. Geological data can extend the record of ice sheet observations beyond that of the satellite era, providing rates, durations and magnitudes of past ice surface lowering that help us to understand the processes driving present-day and future ice sheet responses.

The PhD student will focus on geomorphological mapping and 10Be exposure dating in Victoria Land, Antarctica. Candidates with a strong background in glaciology and programming might also carry out numerical modeling of associated outlet glaciers. Glaciers in this sector of Antarctica drained into a large grounded ice sheet in the Ross Sea at the Last Glacial Maximum. 10Be dating of glacial deposits and associated numerical modelling of outlet glaciers has the potential to provide critical insight into the mechanisms that forced Antarctic ice sheet retreat from this maximum to its present-day configuration.

The PhD student will participate in at least one Antarctic field season – there is potential to gain experience as a member of our field programme in January 2016 – however, the main fieldwork associated with this PhD project will occur in the austral summer of 2016/2017.

The PhD student will be based in the Antarctic Research Centre (ARC), one of a number of centres of research excellence at Victoria University of Wellington. The centre is co-located with the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, with which it shares academic staff and facilities, including a purpose-built 10Be laboratory Victoria University was recently ranked number one in New Zealand for research quality.

The ARC mission is to improve our understanding of Antarctic climate history and processes and their influence on the global climate system. We believe this field provides exciting opportunities and challenges attractive to young researchers, and is needed to provide a sound basis for international debate and policy development on global change issues.

Andrew N. Mackintosh

Deputy Director, Antarctic Research Centre

Associate Professor/Reader, School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences

Secretary General, International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS)

Victoria University of Wellington

PO Box 600 Wellington

New Zealand

New dating indicates the Waimakariri glacier reached the Canterbury Plains 24.5 thousand years ago

New research published by Henrik Rother from the Institue for Geography and Geology at the University of Greifswald in Germany indicates that twenty four and a half thousand years ago the Castle Hill basin was full of ice with a glacier tongue reaching down through the Waimakariri Gorge. While the evidence for the “Waimakariri Glacier” reaching beyond the gorge has long been known, the previous estimate of when the ice was below the gorge was 300 thousand years ago, so this new twenty four and a half thousand years ago estimate is a considerable revision of the timing. The paper reference is available here

2017 International Symposium named

The title for the 2017 international symposium has been decide upon.
It is:
International Symposium on the Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

It will be held in Wellington, New Zealand
from the 13th – 17th February in 2017
The symposium is sponsored by:
the International Glaciological Society,
the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences and
the Climate and Cryosphere project.

The symposium is being hosted by:
the NZ Snow and Ice research Group and
the Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington.