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Fairy circle landscapes formed in the Great Barrier Reef…but how?

Destabilising feedbacks between ecology and the local physical environment yield spatial pattern formation in various contexts throughout nature. For example, these feedbacks can lead to ring-shaped pattern formation in the spatial distribution of submerged aquatic plants. Recently, unusual crater-like structures have been identified in a large area of the Great Barrier Reef where the algae genus Halimeda constructs mounds called 'bioherms'.This project seeks to use partial differential equation models of the spatial growth of Halimeda to identify whether its long-term …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Mathematical Sciences
Research centre(s)
Centre for Data Science
Centre for the Environment

Probing the origins of life on Earth

The history of life on Earth is written in the fossil record. In this project, you will investigate stable isotope evidence for extremely early evolving organisms. Through careful petrography and with the use of isotope ratio mass-spectrometers, you will help unravel the history of microbial metabolisms that powered the ecosystems recorded by 3 billion-year-old microbial fossils.

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

What do ancient granitic rocks tell about the formation of Earth's crust

The Earth is a dynamic evolving planet that has continually changed throughout its history. This change is recorded in the different rock types preserved in the continental crust and is paralleled by the evolution of life. Study of Archean granitic terranes (4.0-2.5 billion years ago) provides invaluable information on the early Earth when 50% of the present day volume of continental crust was generated. You will help work out how Earth's earliest crust formed through:potential field workpetrographygeochemical analysis.

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Searching for Life on Mars on Earth

NASA's newest Mars rover, Perseverance, has just arrived on the red planet. Tasked with searching for ancient life in the geological record of a ~4 billion-year-old crater lake, the mission science team must use our only available analogue - the Earth - as their guide to exploration.

Study level
PhD
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Understanding the external surface of fungal mycelia

The way in which fungal cultures grow in liquid cultures are can have a major impact on scale up and producing material. Here, we will examine the growth of three fast-growing filamentous fungi and try understand how various growth parameters affect the morphology that will range from loose mycelia to compact pellets.Fungal morphology is affected by inoculum (form, concentration and growth stage), media components (type and concentration of carbon, nitrogen and phosphate, trace minerals, pH, salt content), dissolved gases (dissolved …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Biology and Environmental Science
Research centre(s)
Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy

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