PhD Opportunity: Hobart City Bushfire Risk

Understand the bushfire risk profile of the City of Hobart using a transdisciplinary biophysical and social geographic approach

The Fire Centre is looking for a PhD student to engage in a multi-disciplinary project identifying vulnerable populations in the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) around the Tasmanian capital of Hobart. The research will employ both sociological and biogeographic approaches.

The Research Project

The City of Hobart, capital of the Australian island State of Tasmania, has high vulnerability to catastrophic wildfire. This risk profile reflects a constellation of biophysical and social geographic factors including a highly flammable landscape, extensive urban-bushland fringe, poor social engagement with bushfire risk, aging housing stock that is not compliant with modern bushfire building and planning codes, and pockets of socio-economic disadvantage, and under-insurance patterns that cut across low and middle Australian households.

In this project we will use a mix of qualitative and quantitative social research combined with biophysical and geospatial modelling of fire risk to assess human vulnerability to bushfire. We will contextualise this research globally by ensuring we are following comparable social and biophysical approaches that have been developed elsewhere in Australia and in North America. Our research will lead to policy recommendations to the City of Hobart to increase community and individual household resilience to bushfire. This project will develop approaches that can be applied to other Local Government Areas in Tasmania and elsewhere.

Experience and skills that will be ranked highly include:
Degree-level undergraduate education in ecology, environmental sciences or geography or a related subject; Experience in geographic information systems.

  • The student will need to be physically fit and mobile to undertake field work
  • The project is open to Australian and New Zealand (domestic) candidates and to International candidates
  • Research must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first-class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

See the following web page for entry requirements:

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact, David Bowman for further information.


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