An investigation of climate dynamics at the End-Permian mass extinction

Why did Earth's climate system 'fail' to recover in the wake of the end-Permian mass extinction?

Chief supervisor:
Terry Isson
Discipline(s): Geochemistry, Carbon Cycle, Climate, Mass Extinctions, Chemical Weathering, Ecosystems
Scholarship type: PhD scholarship

$27,500 per annum, plus enrolment fees

Duration: 36 months
Campus: Tauranga
Fieldwork location(s): Svalbard and several other international sites

Project description

This PhD scholarship is part of the Marsden-funded research project: Exploring the limits of climate regulation - Could a decline in marine biological silica uptake exacerbate global climate change?

The global carbon and silica cycles regulates climate on Earth. Yet we have a limited understanding of the feedbacks  that  lead  to  both  stability  and  runaway  climate  Earth states. The end-Permian extinction—the only event in Earth’s history with similar-to-modern carbon release rates—offers a unique opportunity to investigate ecosystem-climate feedbacks. Records suggest the development of lethally  hot  temperatures and sluggish climate  recovery  during  the  end-Permian  mass  extinction event. The mechanisms responsible for, and relative timing of these perturbation remain, however, poorly understood. Reconstruction of climate-carbon cycling-extinction dynamics for the end-Permian may yield critical insights into not only the largest mass extinction in Earth’s history but also other episodes of rapid warming—past, present and future. As part of this project, the PhD student will execute a combination  of  field  work  in  Svalbard,  mineralogical  and  Li  isotope  analysis,  and  box
modelling in collaboration with a well-rounded supervisory team. Work for this project will be carried out at Yale, Cambridge and the University of Waikato (Tauranga). This project will constitute only a portion of the student’s PhD thesis, there is room for the candidate to lead the way in shaping the remainder of the thesis.

The ideal student for this project:

We're looking for a student with a Master's degree (or equivalent) with background knowledge in isotope geochemistry, carbon cycle, box modelling, sedimentary geology

Submit scholarship application