Funded PhD studentship: Could airborne microplastics play a role in climate change?
Microplastics are ubiquitous contaminants in aquatic and terrestrial environments, and have recently been discovered in the atmosphere in several megacities and remote locations throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Sources of microplastics include paint particles, microbeads, clothing fibers and dust from synthetic rubber tyres. Due to their size and density they can be transported by the wind and persist in the atmosphere for extended periods. Whether airborne microplastics interact with solar radiation, and potentially play a role in climate change, is currently unknown.
We are seeking a PhD student to work within a wider effort aimed at quantifying the role of airborne microplastics in the global climate system, supported by the Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund. This project will involve:
• Implementing microplastics as a source of atmospheric aerosol in the New Zealand Earth System Model, which is based on the UK United Model.
• Performing simulations to diagnose the potential radiative forcing associated with atmospheric microplastics.
The successful candidate will hold a Masters degree in physics, chemistry, mathematics or a related discipline e.g. environmental science. Strong written and verbal communication skills in English are essential, and prior programming experience is highly desirable. Previous experience e.g. using Python and/or Fortran will be advantageous.
This studentship is fully funded for three years (including fees) and will offer opportunities for domestic and international travel. The successful candidate will be based in the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, who offer a friendly and supportive environment and are housed in a brand-new purpose-built research facility.
To apply, please submit the following:
- Cover letter
- CV describing previous research experience.
- Academic transcript.
- Evidence of proficiency in English, if applicable.
- Contact details of two academic referees.
Applications and enquiries to: [email protected]
Deadline for applications: 30/04/2020, 5pm (NZ time)