Current PhD students

Climate Science for Australia's Future


PhD Students

Benjamin Arthur

BSc – UTas 2007, BSc (Hons) – Utas 2009

Room 214
IMAS Building
University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay
+61 3 62266671

Research Project: Changing climate and the winter foraging behaviour of Antarctic fur seal populations

Supervisors: Dr Mary-Anne Lea, Prof Mark Hindell

Project Description: This project will investigate the winter foraging behaviour for Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella) populations in the Southern Ocean, to elucidate the factors influencing an apex predator in the changing Antarctic marine ecosystem. The specific objectives are:.Quantify fine-scale habitat use during the winter period, including vertical water structure and meso-scale influences.Undertake predictive modelling of habitat use, foraging behaviour and potential foraging success in relation to Southern Ocean climate parameters. Identify the trophic level and links of Antarctic fur seals from various Southern Ocean populations. Undertake an assessment of areas of ecological significance in the Southern Ocean to Antarctic fur seals and other apex predators.

Start date/Expected completion year: November 2011 – November 2014


David E. Gwyther


Bsc, (Hons) (Physics)

Geology Building

Room 340a

UTAS, Sandy Bay

+61 3 6226-2983


Research Project: Investigating the impact of ocean warming on Antarctic Ice Shelves

Supervisors: Dr John Hunter, Dr Ben Galton-Fenzi, Dr Jason Roberts, Dr John Church

Project Description: In most cases, the major forcing on ice shelf evolution is the basal melt/freeze rate. Ice shelves largely isolate the ocean below from the effects of the atmosphere. The interaction between the ice shelves and the ocean is mainly thermodynamic with heat and freshwater exchanged between the ice shelf and the ocean. Of primary interest is the way in which the melting and freezing depends on the ocean temperature, which is increasing (and will continue to increase) with global warming. During the past few years there has been a large program of data collection on the Totten Glacier. These and future observations of the ocean will form the basis of numerical modelling of this ocean system. There is also an interest in modelling the cavities under other ice-shelves. Each specific application of the model would indicate the sensitivity of that particular ice-shelf to a warming ocean.

Projects could include:

·      Using the model to simulate the mean basal melt rate and spatial pattern of melt/freeze and compare with glaciological estimates.

·      Determine if a signal of enhanced basal melt rates is observed during the period of glaciological observations.

·      Describe the ocean circulation and properties beneath the floating part of the Totten Glacier and the adjacent region over the continental shelf

·      Determine the sensitivity of ice shelves to future changes in both atmospheric forcing and changes to ocean temperature and salinity.

·      The model may be used in the future development of a coupled ice-stream/ice-shelf/ocean model.

Start date/Expected completion year: March 2012-March 2015


Also interested in: The effect of global warming on road riding, the effect of altered precipitation events on mountain bike trails, the effects of more frequent severe storm events on bushwalking


Robert Johnson

BMarSci, MAntSci

IMAS Buiding

Sandy Bay

+61 3 6226 6379



Research Project: Effects of climate change on phytoplankton primary production and chemotaxonomy in Southern Ocean and Antarctic ecosystems 

Supervisors: Peter Strutton, Andrew McMinn, Simon Wright, Klaus Meiners.

Start date - expected completion year: Feb 2011 - Feb 2014.

Future employment preference: Anything, anywhere  – have brain, will travel


Tomas A. Remenyi

B.Comm., B.Sc., B.Ant.Stud. (Hons), Cert. QMS

PhD Program in Quantitative Marine Science

The Barn


UTAS, Sandy Bay

Mob: 0400 612 485



Research Project: Quantifying the impact of dust deposition to the Southern Ocean using dissolved aluminium concentrations 

Supervisors: Dr Andrew Bowie, Prof Pavel Nesterenko, Prof Paul Haddad, Dr Ed Butler, Dr Mathieu Mongin

Project Description: It is becoming increasingly important to understand the role that aeolian deposition plays in supplying trace elements to the surface ocean, and consequentially the role that such episodic supply plays in moderating biological processes. Periodic input of dust laden with iron, an element essential for photosynthesis, is thought to stimulate phytoplankton growth, resulting in a shift in the dominant phytoplankton species composition and an increase in carbon fixation, with consequent effects on atmospheric C02. This coupling is particularly evident in the iron-deficient Southern Ocean, where there is mounting evidence that dust particles from the arid Australian desert provide a vital link in the planet's climate control system, and provide a key climate feedback loop linking the lithosphere, atmosphere and ocean. Indeed, the polar ice core record shows that during the last ice age, average dust input to the oceans was tenfold greater than today, with high dust periods being closely associated with abnormally low atmospheric C02 and temperature. Despite being the most abundant metallic element in the Earth's crust (8.1% by weight), oceanic aluminium (Al) concentrations are extremely low predominantly due to its extremely short residence time (2-5 yr). A knowledge of its surface water distribution is thus extremely useful in that it can be used to identify the location and magnitude of inputs of continentally derived dusts to the ocean. Vertical profiles of Al are probably controlled by dissolution of dust particles (at the sea-surface) and bottom sediments (at the ocean depths) balanced against scavenging by particulate matter. Recent work has also shown Al distributions to show large inter-ocean variability.


To map Al distributions on a large scale requires the development of analytical methodology that is sensitive, precise, rapid, minimises the risk of sample contamination and operable onboard research vessels. Through this project, the candidate will initially develop and optimise a shipboard analytical method for the determination of Al in seawater. Recent successful methods have coupled flow injection analysis (FIA) with in-line preconcentration and fluorometric detection, and thus this approach will be an obvious starting point. FIA methods for Al have been based on the well-documented lumogallion and the preconcentration abilities of resin-immobilised 8-hydroxyquinoline. SUB-nanomolar detection limits have been achieved. The optimised system will be tested against a series of archived Southern Ocean and Atlantic samples. The validated method will then be deployed alongside other shipboard analytical methods for trace elements on major Southern ocean research expeditions, for the real-time determination of Al.

Importance of the research: This research aids the understanding of trace nutrient supply mechanisms to the Southern Ocean.  This is an important parameter in global models for  estimating the oceans role in the carbon cycle and the climate system. 

Start date - expected completion: July 2008 - September 2012


1.      T. A. Remenyi, P. N. Nesterenko, A. R. Bowie, E. C. V. Butler, and P. R. Haddad. Reversed phase high performance liquid chromatographic determination of dissolved aluminium in open ocean seawaters. Limnol. Oceanogr.-Meth., 2012. (accepted,  in press). 

2.      Delphine Lannuzel, Andrew R. Bowie, Tomas Remenyi, Phoebe Lam, Ashley Townsend, Enitan Ibisanmi, Edward Butler, Thibaut Wagener, and Vronique Schoemann. Distributions of dissolved and particulate iron in the sub-Antarctic and Polar Frontal Southern Ocean (Australian sector). Deep-Sea. Res. Pt. II., 58(21-22):2094–2112, November 2011. 

3.      T. A. Remenyi, P. N. Nesterenko, A. R. Bowie, E. C. V. Butler, and P. R. Haddad. Fast and sensitive determination of aluminium with RP-HPLC using an ultra-short monolithic column. Anal. Method., 3(11):2488–2494, November 2011. 

4.      W. Baeyens, A.R. Bowie, K. Buesseler, M. Elskens, Y. Gao, C. Lamborg, M. Leermakers, T. Remenyi, and H. Zhang. Size-fractionated labile trace elements in the Northwest Pacific and Southern Oceans. Mar. Chem., 126(1-4):108–113, September 2011. 

5.      D. Cossa, L. E. Heimburger, D. Lannuzel, S. R. Rintoul, E. C. V. Butler, A. R. 

Bowie, B. Averty, R. J. Watson, and T. Remenyi. Mercury in the Southern Ocean. Geochim. Cosmochim. Ac., 75(14):4037–4052, July 2011. 

6.      A. R. Bowie, A. T. Townsend, D. Lannuzel, T. A. Remenyi, and P. van der Merwe. Modern sampling and analytical methods for the determination of trace elements in marine particulate material using magnetic sector inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Anal. Chim. Acta., 676(1-2):15–27, Aug 2010. 

7.      Tagliabue, L. Bopp, J. C. Dutay, A. R. Bowie, F. Chever, P. Jean-Baptiste, E. Bucciarelli, D. Lannuzel, T. Remenyi, G. Sarthou, O. Aumont, M. Gehlen, and C. Jeandel. Hydrothermal contribution to the oceanic dissolved iron inventory. Nat. Geosci., 3(4):252–256, April 2010. 

8.      A. R. Bowie, D. Lannuzel, T. A. Remenyi, T. Wagener, P. J. Lam, P. W. Boyd, C. Guieu, A. T. Townsend, and T. W. Trull. Biogeochemical iron budgets of the Southern Ocean south of Australia: Decoupling of iron and nutrient cycles in the subantarctic zone by the summertime supply. Global. Biogeochem. Cy., 23:GB4034, Dec 2009. 

9.      S. Blain, B. Queguiner, L. Armand, S. Belviso, B. Bombled, L. Bopp, A. Bowie, C. Brunet, C. Brussaard, F. Carlotti, U. Christaki, A. Corbiere, I. Durand, F. Ebersbach, J. L. Fuda, N. Garcia, L. Gerringa, B. Griths, C. Guigue, C. Guillerm, S. Jacquet, C. Jeandel, P. Laan, D. Lefevre, C. Lo Monaco, A. Malits, J. Mosseri, I. Obernosterer, Y. H. Park, M. Picheral, P. Pondaven, T. Remenyi, V. Sandroni, G. Sarthou, N. Savoye, L. Scouarnec, M. Souhaut, D. Thuiller, K. Timmermans, T. Trull, J. Uitz, P. van Beek, M. Veldhuis, D. Vincent, E. Viollier, L. Vong, and T. Wagener. Eect of natural iron fertilization on carbon sequestration in the Southern Ocean. Nature., 446(7139):1070–U1, April 2007. 

Future employment preference: Science management, data analysis, biogeochemical oceanography

Links: http://utas.academia.edu/TomasRemenyi. http://www.imas.utas.edu.au/qms/current-students-and-projects/tomas-remenyi


Cathryn Ann Wynn-Edwards

BSc (Hons)

Australian Antarctic Division

Ph: 6232 3151



Research Project: Indirect effects of ocean acidification on the Antarctic food web: changes in the biochemical composition of Antarctic phytoplankton species under elevated pCO2 and the subsequent effects on development of Euphausia superba larvae


Supervisors: Dr. Patti Virtue, Prof. Andrew McMinn, Dr. So Kawaguchi, Dr. Andrew Davidson, Dr. Simon Wright, Dr. Peter Nichols


Project Description: Development of ocean acidification incubation system for phytoplankton cultures at AAD laboratories. Assessment of susceptibility of Southern Ocean phytoplankton species to elevated pCO2. Subsequent feeding experiments with Antarctic krill larvae to assess their susceptibility to altered food quality as indirect effect of ocean acidification.


Start date - expected completion: 1st March 2009 – mid-2013


Publications: In preparation


Future employment preference: Science, with a focus on climate change research


Honours Students


Merel Bedford

Bachelor of Science – Marine Science and Management at the University of New England in collaboration with the National Marine Science Centre in Coffs Harbour, NSW. Completed in 2009.

Honours room


UTAS, Sandy Bay



Research Project: Prey field use by top predators in the Southern Ocean: understanding foraging dynamics of macaroni penguins (Eudyptes chrysolophus) near Heard Island


Supervisors: Jess Melbourne-Thomas, Stuart Corney and Andrew Constable


Project Description: This project focuses on the prey field dynamics of macaroni penguins near Heard Island. For the project comparisons will be made between the diet characteristics (stomach content and faeces analysis) and prey field characteristics (net and acoustic data). Prey field use of macaroni penguins will be studied to identify diurnal foraging patterns and differences between foraging patterns depending on the breeding season. The project is based on macaroni penguins near Heard Island because understanding of prey field use by top predators is lacking, and data on two different stages of the macaroni penguin breeding cycle are available through the AAD. 


Start date - expected completion: July 2012 to June 2013


Future employment preferences: Anything related to marine science but main interest at the moment in Antarctic science (predator-prey modelling) 


Links: http://au.linkedin.com/in/merelbedford


Roshni Subramaniam

Bachelor of Marine Science

IMAS Building

Sandy Bay



Research Project: Modelling responses to climate change in the Southern Ocean microbial loop


Supervisors: Jessica Melbourne-Thomas, Stuart Corney, Andrew Constable, Andrew Davidson


Project Description: This project uses simulative qualitative modelling to map and model the response of the microbial loop to climate change in the Southern Ocean. This project aims to identify the complexity at which the processes that affect climate change are captured within the model.


Start date - expected completion: February 2012 - November 2012



Indi Hodgson-Johnston 

BA, LL.B(Hons), Grad Dip Legal Practice 

IMAS Building, Sandy Bay


Research Project: Meaningful and effective implementation of an IPOA for DNA Identification and Verification of Marine Products 


Supervisors: Dr Julia Jabour and Assoc Prof Marcus Haward


Start date - expected completion: August 2012 – June 2013


Publications: “Trading Fish, Saving Fish – The Interaction Between Regimes and International Law” Book Review, (2011) 30(2) University of Tasmania Law Review 200. “Social Media, Real-time Experiences and Involvement: Engaging Australian Youth in the AAT”, in Jabour J, M Haward and AJ Press, Australia’s Antarctica: Proceedings of a Symposium to Mark 75 years of the Australian Antarctic Territory, Hobart, 24 August 2011, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies Occasional Paper #2 pp 61- 67.