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A PhD position for a Deep South National Science Challenge-funded project to study the contribution of seasonal snow to the water cycle at a national scale in New Zealand

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Close date
Tuesday, 1 March 2022
Academic background
Humanities, Sciences
Host campus
School of Geography
Associate Professor Nicolas Cullen


The snow that falls in mountain regions in New Zealand is a major source of freshwater, but we still struggle to reliably estimate how much snow is being stored and when it can be expected to contribute to streamflow. Mountain rivers are important in both the North and South Islands of New Zealand as they feed our largest hydro-electric power schemes, and provide critical water for irrigation, especially during drought.

To meet this challenge, a PhD position is available to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team to understand the impacts of climate change on seasonal snow, with a focus on assessing the uncertainty of modelling snow distribution in alpine catchments in New Zealand using a hydrological model. This effort will help ensure a set of discrete quantitative hydrologic “storylines” are produced for use in decision making by government, communities and industry.

The position would suit a student with expertise in climatology, hydrology and/or remote sensing. In particular, someone who has hydrological modelling expertise is encouraged to apply.

Further information can be obtained from Associate Professor Nicolas Cullen:



Nicolas Cullen
Tel   +64 3 479 3069