The Soils Group in the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences is a strong, dynamic, and research-intensive group, with direct linkages to State and Federal Government, industry, and community organisations. The University of Queensland was one of only six institutions in Australia to have the sub-discipline of Soil Science rated in the ERA outcomes, with the group performing “above international standard”. Major research activities of the Group cover the science and sustainable management of agricultural systems

PhD Scholarship in Soil Science

School of Agriculture and Food Sciences

The Soils Group in the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences is a strong, dynamic, and research-intensive group, with direct linkages to State and Federal Government, industry, and community organisations. The University of Queensland was one of only six institutions in Australia to have the sub-discipline of Soil Science rated in the ERA outcomes, with the group performing “above international standard”. Major research activities of the Group cover the science and sustainable management of agricultural systems, the management of physically, chemically and nutritionally degraded lands including mine land rehabilitation, the land application of solid and liquid waste, and natural resource assessment.

The role

Saline and alkaline water produced as a by-product of mining is often stored in evaporation ponds. The presence of free salts throughout the soil profile, and particularly on the soil surface of the isolated area, is of concern due to wind erosion and the transport of dust and salt. Furthermore, upon eventual closure of the ponds it will be necessary to establish a self-sustaining vegetative cover across the entire evaporation pond area. There is therefore a need to investigate the most efficient and cost-effective method of ameliorating the soil to allow for plant growth. This PhD position will conduct studies at the interface of soil chemistry and soil physics to identify sustainable methods for forming a more conducive environment for root growth. The candidate will develop a strong understanding of soil salinity and soil sodicity, and the effects of soil properties on plant growth.

The person

Applications are sought from first and upper second class honours graduates in Environmental Science, Agricultural Science, or Science graduates with expertise in chemistry or soil science, although preference will be given to first class honours graduate. Award of the scholarship will be based on academic merit, demonstrated research experience or potential, and will meet the following essential criteria:

  • You must hold a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, Agricultural Science, or Science with expertise in chemistry or soil science (or equivalent) with Honours Class I (IIA will be considered), or a Masters Degree in Soil Science.
  • You must be available to join the PhD program soon after a decision has been made
  • You may be of any age.

Remuneration

The stipend will be AUD$32,000 per annum tax free for three years, with the possibility of a six month extension in approved circumstances. Students with an APA scholarship will be provided with a $15,000 pa top-up scholarship.

Enquiries

To discuss this role please contact Dr Peter Kopittke on +61 7 3346 9149 or [email protected].

To submit an application for this role, use the Apply button below. All applicants must supply the following documents: Cover letter, Resume, and Academic Records.

For information on completing the application process

http://www.uq.edu.au/uqjobs/index.html?page=149386&pid=149313

Applications close

25 November 2011

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