Theme: Earth science and resources, Marine biology and ocean science


This project will utilise an existing collection of coral samples from the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) to test the effects on trace element uptake of differences in relative position on the reef and bathymetry at both nearshore and offshore positions over a wide latitudinal range. Such data are crucial for interpreting palaeoenvironmental data using corals, and those data are important for establishing baselines and tipping points for coral responses to climate change in the future. This project will introduce the use of a new coral genus to reef water monitoring studies, while representing the largest such study of its kind so far carried out anywhere. It is expected that the results will form the basis of a peer-reviewed publication and will lead to better understanding of the Great Barrier Reef through time and space.

The student will gain experience with Scanning Electron Microscopy and coral microstructure, geochemical sampling protocols, inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry/data analysis, trace element geochemistry and coral reef environments in the GBR as applied towards reef protection.

Additional Information: Preferred background is a student with interest in coral reefs and environmental protection. Some combination of background in coral biology, geochemistry or chemistry and statistics and/or a willingness to expand their knowledge in these areas would be useful, but full necessary training will be provided.

Contact: Professor Greg Webb