Advert ID: 20007052
PhD opportunity: The Living Moorabool - Evaluating the Effects of Human-driven Change on River Health
Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria
$115k Scholarship package over 3 years ($30k Stipend)
WaterRA Project 4549
Open to applicants currently based in Australia (this includes all permanent residents, and international citizens on suitable visas).
As Australia and the world confront the challenges of climate change and a growing population, water resource management has never been more important. Research will play an important role in helping shape and manage water resources, now and into the future, particularly in Australia, where water resources are scarce and highly variable.
The Moorabool River is one of Victoria’s most important regional rivers. As well as providing drinking water for the expanding cities of Geelong and Ballarat, the river serves as a critical biodiversity corridor, a popular waterway for recreational purposes, and holds significance to its Traditional Owners. It is, however, also a highly stressed river where the construction of farm dams, weirs, diversions, land-use change, and water extraction for both urban and rural use have all impacted the health of the Moorabool River. In 2017 the Victorian Government initiated the “Living Moorabool” project to deliver a healthy culture, environment, and community.
Based out of Deakin’s award-winning Geelong campus, this PhD-level research is sponsored by Corangamite Catchment Authority (CCMA), Barwon Water, and Deakin University’s ‘Centre for Regional and Rural Futures’ as part of the “Living Moorabool” project.
We are seeking a suitably qualified environmental scientist with knowledge and interest in ecological and land-use change assessment, as well as community and social licence factors (such as cultural connection, stewardship), to undertake research on how interventions (such as the land-use change, river diversions, extraction, restoration activities) and social factors have impacted on the health of the Moorabool River.
The candidate will utilise existing field monitoring systems and a variety of historical proxy data-sets and indicators to construct a vivid depiction of the river’s health; quantifying and pinpointing the relative impacts of interventions. Field-based surveys of local land-holders to evaluate the efficacy of various land management practices will compliment and strengthen the methodology.
The outcomes from this research will provide an empirical baseline from which the river’s key stakeholders can use to shape future management practices in the Moorabool catchment.
The project is open to domestic and international students, and would be well suited to mid-career NRM or water professionals looking for a stimulating change, or to provide a competitive career edge.
How to apply:View details
Applications close: Midnight, Sunday 14 February, 2021.