PhD opportunity: “Latent heat balance dynamics and heatwaves in cities” UNSW

June 6, 2018 in Student_Positions

Climate change strongly impacts the climate of cities, especially during heatwaves where there are synergies between synoptic conditions and local climate. Lack of understanding of the dynamics of evapotranspiration by vegetation and turbulent latent heat balance before heatwaves often leads to under-prediction of such events. This project will connect plant water use and stomatal conductance models differentiated by vegetation-soil systems with land surface models to provide new insight into the impacts of the built environment on moisture fluxes that influence heatwave intensity. Then it will investigate the climate impacts of the dynamic response of greenery in extreme heat conditions.

The ideal candidate has a strong cross-disciplinary scientific background, with solid bases in physics, maths, and especially in heat transfer and climate science. She/he has confidence in numerical simulation and data analysis. Programming skills and knowledge of fundamentals of statistics and probabilistic and possibilistic methods are an asset.

The successful candidate will work with both the Faculty of Built Environment and the Climate Change Research Centre in the Faculty of Science. The student will be supervised by Dr Riccardo Paolini (Built Environment), Dr Melissa Hart (Climate Change Research Centre) and Professor Mattheos Santamouris (Built Environment).

UNSW Scientia PhD scholars are awarded a prestigious scholarship package of $50,000 per annum, comprising a tax-free living allowance of $40,000 per annum for 4 years, and a support package of up to $10,000 per annum to provide financial support for career development activities.

The candidate will also become part of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, an international research consortium of five Australian universities (The University of New South Wales, Monash University, The University of Melbourne, The University of Tasmania and The Australian National University) and a suite of outstanding national and international Partner Organizations. The Centre provides excellent opportunities for travel and graduate student development.

Further details about the Scientia PhD scholarships can be found at and summarised in the FAQ (

Interested students should in the first instance send a CV, statement of research interests, and copies of academic transcripts to and

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