Study level

  • Master of Philosophy
  • Honours
  • Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.

Research centre


Dr Kate Saunders
Lecturer in Optimal Ecological Management
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Science


To mitigate the risk posed by extreme rainfall events, we require statistical models that allow us to extrapolate outside the range of our observed data into the tail of our distribution and to estimate the probability of record events we are yet to observe.

For this type of statistical analysis, we typically use methods from extreme value theory. The challenge for modelling rainfall extremes using many of these extreme value methods is that there exists a gap between theory and practice. Applications in climate rarely meet the criteria of independent and identically distributed, and there are particular challenges related to modelling space-time extremes.

Research activities

In this project, you will be applying methods from extreme value theory to model Australian rainfall extremes and adapting the existing methods where necessary so that they suitably reflect the underlying physical processes.


The project would be an ideal lead-in to an honours or Master of Philosophy, where the research problem could be more thoroughly explored with more sophisticated probabilistic and statistical tools. Eventually, depending on outcomes, the research could be published in a scientific journal.

Skills and experience

This project is most suitable for students who have an interest in probability and statistics, with applications in climate science.

The project can be adapted to a student’s probabilistic and statistical interests.

You should have skills in:

  • stochastic modelling (necessary)
  • statistical Inference (desired)
  • R programming (desirable)
  • data visualisation (desirable).


You may be eligible to apply for a research scholarship.

Explore our research scholarships



Contact the supervisor for more information.