Building a collaboration

We have worked across NIWA and the University of Waikato to identify a range of research themes, co-develop new research proposals and understand how we can work better across the two organisational cultures to strengthen and broaden our research collaborations. A new co-developed MBIE Endeavour programme (Doubling On-farm Diffuse Pollution Mitigation) and a smart idea (Freshwater bioremediation using native mussels (kākahi)) proposal were successful in the latest funding round. We are now starting to build wider partnerships with a range of key partners.

Jointly-funded PhDs

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and the University of Waikato (UoW) through the joint Institute for Freshwater Management (Te Waiora), in association with Lincoln Agritech and Aqualinc Research have established a new research programme to develop novel approaches for treatment of diffuse pollution from agriculture. As part of this programme of research we have funding for three PhD students based at UoW. While PhD students will have their own research topics, we will expect close collaboration between students working as a team to solve these challenging problems.

Brief descriptions (key contacts listed at end for further details):

  • Carbon dosing of denitrifying bioreactors. This PhD will investigate whether and to what extent dosing of denitrifying bioreactors with a soluble carbon source can stimulate nitrate removal from agricultural drainage water. Determining simple and efficient approaches for field based carbon dosing will also be important. Background needed in biogeochemistry and/or microbial ecology. Prof Louis Schipper.
  • Phosphorus retention by biomaterial nano-composites. This PhD will synthesize P-sorbing Iron nano-composites (INC) from wood chips and other fibrous biomaterials. The potential for INC to enhance P adsorption and retention in denitrifying bioreactors treating agricultural drainage water will be investigated under redox-buffered and non-buffered conditions. This project requires a strong practical focus as well as knowledge of surface and aquatic chemistry. Dr Rupert Craggs and Dr Adam Hartland
  • Filamentous algae nutrient scrubbers. This PhD will investigate the ability of filamentous algae to remove both N and P from agricultural drainage water, develop both land-based and in-steam platforms for filamentous algal growth and harvest, and determine the potential uses of the algal biomass. Dr Rupert Craggs. and Dr Rebecca Lawton

Applicants will be independent and highly motivated with:

  • An Honours or MSc degree in a relevant subject (e.g., environmental (bio)geochemistry, environmental engineering, chemistry, aquatic ecology)
  • Experience with lab and/or field experiments
  • Sound skills in analysing data
  • Excellent communication skills in English (spoken and written)

Annual stipend for 3 years: $34,000 (includes $6,500 annual fees)

Closing date 14th January 2019. The positions will start between March and June 2019.

Applicants, please send a letter of motivation and CV (including contact information for 2 referees) to the relevant contact(s) above. Your letter of motivation should describe why you are interested in the specific nominated PhD scholarship.