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Water Research Centre
The University of Adelaide
SA 5005 Australia
Email

Phone:+61 8 8313 3747
Facsimile:+61 8 8313 6222

Student Projects and Scholarships

Students from the Water Research Centre are now leading researchers, policy makers and industry specialists around the world. Our staff have won national and international awards for their supervision. Our students regularly win national and international awards for their research.

Below are available postgraduate student projects within the Centre, please contact the relevant supervisor for more details:

Project Supervisor Required Skills
POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW: Describe mathematically, the distribution of hydrographs for wetlands along the SA River Murray that would occur with and without control structures or human extraction.

Nigel Bean

Seth Westra

Applied mathematics and statistics.
POSTGRADUATE: Downscaling precipitation sequences under a future climate. Seth Westra Engineering or science, comfortable with numerical modelling, statistics, computer programming
POSTGRADUATE: Flood modelling under a future climate Seth Westra
Engineering or science, comfortable with numerical modelling, statistics, computer programming
POSTGRADUATE: Seasonal forecasting and use of seasonal forecasts to improve reservoir operation Seth Westra Engineering or science, comfortable with numerical modelling, statistics, computer programming
POSTGRADUATE: Characterising simultaneous climate extremes Seth Westra
Engineering or science, comfortable with numerical modelling, statistics, computer programming
POSTGRADUATE: Relative role of allochthonous and autochthonous sources of natural organic material in fuelling riverine foodwebs in lowland river floodplains.
Under low flow conditions, autotrophic sources of carbon are believed to dominate foodwebs, and rivers may be energy constrained with net production close to zero. In contrast, during periods of high flow and floods, inputs of allochthonous sources of carbon are likely to provide a short-lived but significant productivity boom. The prevailing management paradigm is that allocations of environmental water delivered to specific wetlands or sections of floodplains, is typically left to evaporate with little or no return of water to the river system. Developing an understanding of the potential productivity gains that could be achieved by returning water to the river once the management objectives in the wetland/on the floodplain have been achieved will be a key objective of this project
 Todd Wallace
Ecology, environmental chemistry
POSTGRADUATE: Comparison of the ability of natural floods, managed inundations using constructed infrastructure and rain events to improve soil moisture availability. Todd Wallace
Ecology, environmental chemistry, soil/groundwater science
POSTGRADUATE: Mobility of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and its impact on wetlands: the South East Drainage Project. A vast network of drains have recently been constructed in the South East of South Australia to drain salty and freshwater from the landscape. A large amount of carbon, in fine particulate and colloidal form, has been mobilised from the landscape . Its nature, origin and mobility, and its impact on wetlands of high conservation value and eco-function, is the subject of this research. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is now the subject of intense investigation world wide given the interest in how carbon is stored in soils and protected in some way from chemical and microbiological breakdown

Jim Cox

David Chittleborough

Soil Chemistry or Geochemistry or Surface hydrology or Hydrogeochemistry
POSTGRADUATE: New decision support tools are required that take into account landscape scale processes and trade-off multiple community benefits  Jim Cox
GIS modelling, hydrology, ecology, mathematics, engineering, economics and optimisation modelling
POSTGRADUATE: Improving rainfall-runoff-recharge-water quality relationships following periods of extended drought

Jim Cox

David Chittleborough

 Hydrological modelling, soil/groundwater science
POSTGRADUATE: Improved understanding the interaction between climate variability, carbon flux and stream-flow

Jim Cox


David Chittleborough

Hydrological modelling, soil/groundwater science
POSTGRADUATE: Weathering, carbon cycling and water balances in soils of semi-arid woodlands: the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network Project
At a site near the River Murray, South Australia, at the location of a flux tower described above, carbon is stored in soil profiles in both inorganic ( calcium-magnesium carbonates) and organic forms. The nature and origin of this carbon, its mobility in the form of dissolved inorganic C (DIC) and dissolved organic C (DOC), and it's impact on riverine chemistry - is the subject of the research in this project. Using stable isotopes of H, O and C (and possibly Ca and Mg), and radiocarbon isotopes, you will attempt to quantify the nature and mobility of the carbon in soil, groundwater and gaseous efflux.

David Chittleborough

Wayne Meyer

Geochemistry or Soil Chemistry; Physics or Chemistry
Using Eddy covariance techniques to measure the CO2 and H2O exchanges over semi arid woodlands: the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network Project.
A CO2, H2O and energy flux measurement site has been established in the Mallee vegetation region next to the River Murray in South Australia. The system uses a standardised flux tower measurement arrangement as part of the national ecosystem monitoring network called OzFlux. Data from this measurement site will become part of the international effort to measure the energy and gaseous exchanges with the atmosphere and hence provide critical input to the global circulation models. These models are the primary tools used to project likely trends in climate change. With land use management interventions such as changed river flows, regulated flooding, changed grazing and revegetation there is an opportunity to measure changes in the ecosystems at the most fundamental level.

Wayne Meyer

David Chittleborough

Atmospheric physics; ecology