You are here: Home / News / Job announcements / PhD at University of Melbourne and Forschungszentrum Jülich Analysis and Forecasting of Soil Water Storage for Rain-fed Agriculture

PhD at University of Melbourne and Forschungszentrum Jülich Analysis and Forecasting of Soil Water Storage for Rain-fed Agriculture

Collaborative PhD Project University of Melbourne and Forschungszentrum Jülich Analysis and Forecasting of Soil Water Storage for Rain-fed Agriculture, by Andrew Western and Heye Bogena

Soil water is a critical resource in many agricultural systems.  Climate variability represents a significant risk in these systems, which has been addressed in the past through seasonal weather outlooks.  A pilot assessment of the potential to extend season weather outlooks to plant available soil water (PASW) (Western et al., in review) has shown promising results with soil water being more forecastable than rainfall.  A variety of key research challenges need to be addressed to progress this pilot to a point where it could be operationally implemented by weather agencies such as the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.  This proposed project will address these issues through a collaborative PhD project involving Prof Andrew Western (UoM) and Dr Heye Bogena (Jülich).   Project Research Questions How can initial conditions be best established for soil water outlooks?  Key challenges here include developing methods to capture the effect of agricultural management on vegetation water use through remote sensing and terrestrial sensor networks such as Cosmic- ray neutron probes methods and the integration of remotely sensed soil water and evapotranspiration data. How can forecast models be tuned to local soil conditions?  A key challenge in soil water modelling is the accurate specification of soil properties.  Methods will be developed using remote sensing will be used to tune soil property estimates available from regional data bases and to estimate current conditions using various model-data fusion techniques. How reliable are forecasts for different lead times under operation conditions?  This will involve assessment of modelling performance at key test sites. The forecasting methods will involve integration of the Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSISM) with meteorological observations and seasonal weather forecasts.  The project will utilise information from Cosmic Ray Soil Moisture Probe network data from both Australia (Cosmoz network) and Europe (TERENO Observatory) in testing the methods developed.  Prof Western and Dr Bogena both have strong and complementary soil water expertise encompassing modelling, remote sensing and field measurement. Operational matters The PhD will be jointly supervised and the student will divide their time between Melbourne (2/3) and Jülich (1/3).  The student will be enrolled at University of Melbourne. Scholarship A University of Melbourne PhD stipend of $30,000/y will be available to the successful applicant.  Interested applicants should forward an application letter, CV, and academic transcripts to:  Professor Andrew Western, Melbourne School of Engineering a.western@unimelb.edu.au, +61 3 8344 7305

Meetings - Reports - Publications
Report of Findings, ISMC presentation, and EGU Jan 09, 2019
Wageningen Soil Conference 2019 (WSC2019) Dec 15, 2018
Come to the AGU ISMC Meeting 9th Dec. Dec 09, 2018
Submit to EGU 2019 - Abstracts due: 10th Jan. 13:00 CET Nov 30, 2018
9th PEDOFRACT July 2019 Conference in Barco de Avila, Spain Nov 29, 2018
Syvitski Student Modeler Competition 2019 Nov 28, 2018
Soil Works on 28 Jan. 2019 (BE) Nov 28, 2018
Announcement for ISMC co-Chair Nov 26, 2018
SoPhie - Soil Hydro-Physics Data - next workshop in Gembloux - 30 Jan 2019 Nov 19, 2018
Award winners Nov 15, 2018
Enabling FAIR Data Nov 13, 2018
ISMC at AGU 2018 and AGU's Soil SWIRL Oct 23, 2018
Call for Soil Hydraulic data! Oct 18, 2018
2019 Soil Systems Travel Award—Deadline: 31 December 2018 Oct 18, 2018
21st World Congress Soil Science 2018 - IUSS Sep 04, 2018
Conference Programme and Important Updates Aug 29, 2018
Call for Award Nominees: Advances in Soil Modeling (extended) Aug 29, 2018
Special Section in Vadose Zone Journal Jul 30, 2018
Soil Water Infiltration Global (SWIG) database published Jul 13, 2018
ISMC on Twitter; EGU2019 - Call-for-session-proposals; AGU approaching Jul 12, 2018
Abstract submission extended to Jul .15th - ISMC Conference Jun 16, 2018
TERENO International Conference 2018 Jun 14, 2018
ISMC Conference & Award. Abstracts deadline Jun. 15 Jun 12, 2018
Workshop on benchmarking models of root system architecture May 22, 2018
DAISY Model Short Course 27-30. Aug. 2018 May 09, 2018
Hydrophysical Database for Brazilian Soils May 09, 2018
Pan-African Soil Challenge (PASCAL) May 07, 2018
EGU Session summary Apr 20, 2018
ISMC Conference: New perspectives on soil models (Nov. 5-7, 2018) Apr 07, 2018
ISMC open meeting @ EGU2018 Tue. 10/4/2018 Apr 07, 2018
News Archive

Looking for older announcements?
Visit the archive here.

This is Pacific Theme