Emergence of climate change in the Southern Hemisphere

Study Area(s): Science
Scholarship Level: Doctoral
Closing Date(s): 1 October 2020
Tenure: Three years
Number offered: One
Value: $21,000 per annum for three years plus tuition fees


Changes in Earth’s climate are affected by emissions of greenhouse gases, aerosols and, in the Southern Hemisphere, the projected recovery of the Antarctic ozone hole. In this PhD we seek to understand how sea-surface temperature patterns, modes of variability, greenhouse gases, aerosols and ozone-depleting substances jointly influence climate change emergence, and how the signal in the Southern Hemisphere differs from that of the Northern.


Societies are acclimatized to the influence of natural climate cycles or familiar climates, and recent work has reveals that much of the planet will enter unfamiliar climates in coming decades. The pattern of the emergence of new climates is closely related to many acute climate stresses, via extreme weather, heatwaves, crop-growing conditions, etc. Our programme aims to deepen understanding of the consequences of emergent signals, both for climate variables which characterise extreme weather, and for natural systems such as forest ecology and river systems. Finally, we propose to better quantify the economic consequences of the emerging human fingerprints on human systems.


We are seeking a PhD student to work within a programme funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to study how climate change affects the frequency of extreme weather events in New Zealand.

The successful candidate will be based at Victoria University of Wellington and supervised by Professor Dave Frame (School of Geography, Environment and Earth Science, Victoria University of Wellington) and Dr Laura Revell (School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, University of Canterbury).


  • Applicants must have a Master's degree in Physics, Geophysics, Mathematics or a related discipline e.g. Computer Science.
  • Applicants must have strong written and verbal communication skills in English.
  • Prior programming experience (e.g. using Python) is highly desirable.

Application process

Applicants interested in applying for this scholarship are required to send an email to Dave Frame: dave.frame@vuw.ac.nz

Applicants should also include the following documents in their email:

  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. Cover letter
  3. University transcripts

Selection process

The assessment panel will comprise Professor Dave Frame (New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute, Victoria University of Wellington) and Dr Laura Revell (School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, University of Canterbury).

Regulations and conditions

Applicants should satisfy the requirements for admission as a PhD candidate at Victoria University of Wellington. They will also need to sign a Victoria Research Scholarship contract.


Please contact dave.frame@vuw.ac.nz for more information about the scholarship.