A Causal Framework for Understanding Natural Hazard Impacts


   School of Architecture and Civil Engineering

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  Prof Seth Westra  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

**SCHOLARSHIP IS AVAILABLE UNTIL FILLED BY A SUITABLE CANDIDATE**

Whenever there is a large flood, bushfire, drought or other climate-related hazard, inevitable questions arise over the causes of the event—for example, whether climate change contributed to or exacerbated the hazard. Non-climatic questions might similarly arise whether infrastructure or policy approaches impacted or even ‘caused’ the event. To this end, developing a rigorous understanding of the causal drivers of natural hazards is an essential foundation both for the forensic diagnosis of historical events, and for identifying systemic improvements that will reduce future impacts. Yet the dynamic, complex and highly uncertain nature of natural hazards—combined with the breadth of scales at which humans are able to intervene in the system—mean that the causal pathways that describe how hazards generate impacts are far from clear. This PhD will build on contemporary thinking in causal reasoning to develop a practical causal framework for understanding natural hazard risk. This framework will be applicable to all major classes of natural hazards, and will be tested using a case study of the recent floods in eastern Australia. Successful completion of this research will improve the way society is able to reason about historical and future natural hazards, and provide a foundation for improving our capacity to adapt to future risk.

The Scholarship is funded by the University of Adelaide to support a full-time PhD student who is commencing research in hydrology, water resources engineering or environmental engineering disciplines. Students with a degree in statistics or computer science and with an interest in natural hazards research will also be considered.

**AS PART OF YOUR APPLICATION, PLEASE INCLUDE A CV, DEGREE CERTIFICATES (TESTAMURS) AND ALL ACADEMIC TRANSCRIPTS, EVIDENCE OF ENGLISH PROFICIENCY FOR NON-ENGLISH BACKGROUND STUDENTS, PLUS A PERSONAL STATEMENT ELABORATING ON YOUR INTEREST AND BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE IN THE PHD TOPIC**

Engineering (12) Environmental Sciences (13) Mathematics (25)

Funding Notes

University of Adelaide scholarship, comprising stipend of $32,500 AUD over a period of 3.5 years, plus fee waiver.
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