New PhD scholarship focuses on protecting native forests

10 July 2023 | News

A new Doctoral Scholarship offers an exciting opportunity for a student to undertake research on the flammability of indigenous forests in New Zealand.

The research, led by Scion, forms part of the MBIE Endeavour programme, Extreme wildfire: our new reality – are we ready? 

The Doctoral Scholarship focuses on understanding the flammability of different indigenous forest species and types (specifically kauri, podocarp, and beech forests) to gain a better understanding of the thresholds for when indigenous forests will ignite, and when fires may spread and escalate into extreme wildfires.

Researchers will develop laboratory experimental methods for testing thresholds for fire ignition and spread in indigenous forest fuels.

Results from this research will be combined with data collected from Scion researchers' interviews with experienced forestry and fire personnel who have knowledge of indigenous forest burning. It will also utilise Māori knowledge on indigenous forest and species flammability, including confirmation of the species/forest types to be investigated.

The scholarship offers $36,000 per annum for three years, with tuition fees also paid for.

The ideal candidate will have an Honours or Master's degree in ecology, forestry, fire science, or a similar field.

Applications close on Sunday, 1 August 2023.

Find out more here.