PDF opportunity - Beetles/Paleoclimate New Zealand
Tim.Barrows at anu.edu.au
Sun Nov 10 19:23:30 EST 2002
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 16:40:00 -0700
From: James Shulmeister <james.shulmeister at canterbury.ac.nz>
Application of fossil beetle research to reconstructing the variability in
New Zealand climates at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM)
Fossil beetle research has emerged as a high resolution tool for
paleoecological and paleoclimatological work in the last few decades. In
New Zealand, paleoclimate reconstructions have been severely limited
because instrumental records are of very short duration and the biological
proxies that are most widely applied (notably pollen) are notoriously
insensitive to climate change in this region, probably because of the
extremely maritime nature of the climate. We need a high resolution
paleoclimate indicator that works in New Zealand conditions to reconstruct
regional climate changes and to test models of global climate
change. Recent work has demonstrated the potential of beetles for high
resolution climate and environmental reconstructions in New Zealand.
Over the northern 2/3rds of New Zealand the onset of the LGM is marked by a
major, easily identifiable, volcanic airfall deposit, the Kawakawa tephra.
In many South Island areas, the LGM is also well defined by glacial
deposits. Consequently, the LGM is probably the easiest past time marker to
define in geological outcrops. Many of the sites are clearly identified in
published literature and contain deposits that should contain beetle
remains. By comparing a large number of (>10) LGM sites around the country,
the pattern of climate change in New Zealand at the LGM will be resolved.
Climate parameters will be quantified using a bioclimatic and/or maximum
likelihood envelope approach. Because of the strong topographic
compartmentalization of New Zealand, the results should provide a
significant test for global climate reconstructions of the LGM.
The work involves field collections of samples from LGM sites, analyses of
the fossil beetle material and modeling work related to refining the
quantification of the past climates. It will involve the development of
maximum likelihood envelope and bioclimatic modeling methods to
discontinuous data sets.
Experience working on fossil beetle material is essential. Familiarity
with New Zealand beetle faunas is an advantage. General computer competence
is essential and familiarity with bioclimatic modeling and/or MLE a plus.
The PDF will be expected to contribute a seminar to a graduate course and
to provide at least two departmental research seminars over the two years.
The Post-Doc will be permitted to contribute more substantive teaching if
they express a desire to do so for professional development purposes.
Applicants are encouraged to submit a copy of their most significant
publication along with their CV. Three referees should also submit reports
directly to the Human Resources Department to arrive by the specified
Academic enquiries to Dr Jamie Shulmeister
(james.shulmeister at canterbury.ac.nz).
Applications, quoting vacancy number U2039, close 13th December 2002 with
the Human Resources Manager, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800,
Christchurch, New Zealand.
Department of Geological Sciences
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
fax +64-364 2769
work phone +64-3-3642762
Home phone +64-3-3511244
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