Honours Projects: Climate Science

Academics in Climate Science

Dr Gab Abramowitz

Associate Professor Lisa Alexander

Professor John Church

Scientia Professor Matthew England

Professor Jason Evans

A/Professor Donna Green

Dr Melissa Hart

Dr Benjamin McNeil

A/Professor Katrin Meissner

Professor Andy Pitman

Dr Alex Sen Gupta

Professor Steven Sherwood

Below are the current projects on offer in Climate Science. Supervisors don't always advertise specific projects, but will happily discuss options with prospective students. If there is a research area or supervisor you might like to pursue, email the relevant academics and ask! They love to talk science.

Honours Projects

 Project Title: Assessing spatial variability in urban climate and air quality

SupervisorsMelissa Hart, Angela Maharaj, Giovanni Di Virgilio (Climate Change Research Centre)

Synopsis: Sydney’s population is predicted to grow by 30% within twenty years, most of which is slated for the semi-rural fringes. The resulting urbanisation will adversely impact temperature and air quality in these areas of rapid population growth. Currently there are few meteorological and air quality observational sites to adequately monitor the effects of this increased urbanisation on local weather and air quality. The Sydney Schools Weather and Air Quality (SWAQ) network aims to place instruments in Sydney schools to fill these gaps. www.swaq.org.au

Aims: This honours project will contribute to the development of the SWAQ network  and assess the influences of spatial variability in urban climate and air quality. We are looking for a student with GIS knowledge, statistical skills, and interest in urban environmental monitoring. Some familiarity in R or Python would be an advantage, or a willingness to learn.

Benefits to student: Involvement in a large federally funded citizen science project. Working in a growth area for applied environmental research- smart cities. Enhanced understanding of data analysis. Opportunity to work with multiple stakeholders. Eligible to apply for ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes honours scholarship.

Project Title: How do large bushfires impact subsequent local climate?

Supervisors: A/Prof. Jason Evans, J. Sharples

Synopsis: Large bushfires often leave huge areas of forest blackened and denuded of leaves and undergrowth. These changes in surface albedo and roughness impact the local climate, but how large are these impacts? This project will use high resolution regional climate model simulations and satellite observations of albedo and vegetation cover to quantify this affect.

Aim: Analyse regional climate model simulations to quantify the lasting affect of bushfire on local climate.

Benefits to student: The student will learn how to manipulate large datasets (programing skills required), understand local land-atmosphere feedbacks and regional climate processes, and help quantify long-lasting climatic effects of these natural disasters.

Project Title: How will future changes in East Coast lows affect coastal erosion?

Supervisors: A/Prof. Jason Evans, I. Turner, M. Harley

Synopsis: East Coast Lows (ECLs) are a major cause of coastal erosion on the east coast of Australia. Evidence suggests that the frequency and character of ECLs will change in the future. How these changes will effect coastal erosion remains to be investigated.

Aim: Analyse regional climate model simulations to quantify the changes in ECLs relevant to coastal erosion processes.

Benefits to student: The student will learn how to manipulate large datasets (programing skills required), understand how wind and wave processes cause coastal erosion, and help quantify the likely future of these natural disasters.