Job Opening

Two PhD scholarships in volcanic eruption forecasting in the Southern Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand

Massey University, New Zealand

Posted: 09/26/2022

Open Until: 03/01/2023

Outstanding BSc (Hons) or MSc graduates are invited to apply for two PhD scholarships, funded through a MBIE Smart Ideas grant to Prof. Georg Zellmer on ”Robust volcanic eruption forecasts: leveraging magmatic speedometry into geophysical monitoring”. One project addresses the architecture and dynamics of magma ascent feeding voluminous historic lava flow eruptions from the Southern Taupo Volcanic Zone, using advanced petrological and geochemical techniques. The other aims to understand the seismic and geodetic signals expected during future volcanic unrest through forward modelling of dyke injections and the study of historical records of geophysical unrest from the area. Successful candidates will be enrolled at Massey University, New Zealand. The petrology/geochemistry project will be undertaken within the Volcanic Risk Solutions group on the Palmerston North campus. The geophysical project will be based at GNS Science in Taupo with collaborating key researchers Oliver Lamb and Ian Hamling. Both doctoral candidates will benefit from interdisciplinary and interinstitutional collaboration with international experts in volcanology/petrology and geophysics/geochemistry. Project team members including Geoff Kilgour (GNS Science), Gert Lube and Stuart Mead (Massey University), Teresa Ubide (University of Queensland, Australia), and Maori representatives/stakeholders.

We are looking for candidates that are capable of constructively interacting with a diverse group of investigators within the Volcanic Risk Solutions group at Massey University, GNS Science at Taupo, and beyond. Successful applicants will have a good numerical background and will gain proficiency in conducting geochemical/geophysical work using a range of state-of-the-art methods to understand the processes and timescales operating in the lead-up to volcanic eruptions. Previous experience in various aspects of such work will be advantageous.

Both scholarships are for a period of three years, and will cover Massey University fees as well as a stipend of NZ$32,500 per year. There is also funding for domestic and international in-person conference attendance for each student during the period of study.

Deadline for applications is Saturday, 8 October, with an anticipated start date as soon as possible but by 1 March 2023 at the latest. Applications should be sent by email to Georg Zellmer ( and should include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, list of publications, and contact details of three or more professional referees. We anticipate to conduct Zoom interviews with shortlisted candidates in the week starting 17 October.

How to Apply

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