Microplastics – fragments of plastic smaller than 5 mm – have long been recognized as contaminants in the world’s oceans and rivers. In recent years, they have been detected in the atmosphere in a range of urban and remote locations. Being small and of low density, microplastics are transported by winds around the Earth. By absorbing and scattering light, they may also play a role in direct radiative processes, thus contributing to climate change. With the amount of plastic accumulated in landfills and the natural environment projected to double over the next 30 years, airborne microplastic pollution is set to get worse.
This project will explore the role of airborne microplastics in a changing climate. We have recently implemented microplastics as a class of atmospheric aerosol into a global climate model. This project will involve running model simulations to explore the possible range of microplastic radiative forcing and associated climate impacts under different scenarios.
The successful candidate will have a strong background in programming (e.g. Python, Fortran and working in a High Performance Computing environment). Expertise in atmospheric and/or optical physics is desirable. Strong written and verbal communication skills in English are essential.
The studentship is fully funded for three years (including fees) and will offer opportunities for domestic travel. Opportunities for international travel may arise subject to New Zealand border restrictions. The successful candidate will be based in the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. We offer a vibrant, friendly and supportive research environment and are housed in a brand-new purpose-built research facility. The project will be supervised by Dr Laura Revell.
To apply, please first check your eligibility for PhD study at the University of Canterbury (https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/study/qualifications-and-courses/phds-and-doctoral-degrees/doctor-of-philosophy/). Applications should include a cover letter, CV, academic transcript and evidence of proficiency in English (if applicable; see https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/enrol/international/english/).
Enquiries to: Dr Laura Revell (laura.revell(at)canterbury.ac.nz)