Remote sensing to improve nearshore wave predictions - PhD scholarship opportunity at University of Western Australia

I have an advertisement out for a PhD student applying the Pangeo toolset (xarray, dask, intake etc) to study how we can use remote sensing to improve our numerical predictions of waves in the nearshore close to the coast.

Please pass around to anyone you think may be interested.

PhD scholarship opportunity: Enhancing nearshore models through remotely sensed observations of spatially varying roughness and vegetation

Rocky and coral reefs are prevalent globally, with many of these also providing the substrate for various types of aquatic vegetation (e.g. kelp). These reefs, through their impact on the bathymetry but also through the enhanced roughness and potential dissipation from vegetation, introduce spatial variability in the waves which can have a considerable impact on nearshore wave breaking, currents, water levels, and sediment transport. The Great Southern Reef of Australia is one example that extends for 8000+ km of Australia’s temperate coastline.

The University of Western Australia (UWA) in collaboration with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is seeking a PhD student to work on developing and applying remote sensing methods in conjunction with in situ wave and current measurements to improve nearshore wave and hydrodynamic models through improved characterisation of the spatial variability of roughness and vegetation effects. Previous studies have identified that modelled nearshore wave heights in the Perth region can vary by up to 50% depending on how nearshore reefs are represented in models. The successful candidate will develop methods to identify these areas using satellite and novel drone remote sensing platforms, quantify their influence on nearshore waves, and incorporate their spatial variability into nearshore models (e.g. Delft3D/SWAN, XBeach, SWASH). This exciting project will deliver research outcomes that will improve the prediction of coastal dynamics in support of coastal management, marine renewable energy and defence applications.

The position will be based at the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre on UWA’s main Perth campus which houses marine researchers from UWA, CSIRO and the Australian Institute of Marine Science, with the opportunity to travel to other CSIRO research facilities in Hobart and Melbourne. The successful applicant will work as part of a multidisciplinary team and contribute to on-going cross-institution collaborative research projects.


This position includes an annual tax-free stipend of $30,000 for up to 3.5 years, in addition to covering tuition and fees at UWA.


Applications are invited from both Australian and international students. Applicants should possess an Honours or Masters degree (or equivalent) in oceanography, coastal engineering, remote sensing, or related fields.

Please send a 1-page cover letter describing your research interests and experience, a CV and the names of two referees by 17 March to:

The supervisory team also includes Jeff Hansen (UWA), Ron Hoeke (CSIRO), and Ryan Lowe (UWA)

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