Future Students


The Centre has Honours and PhD research available and we are seeking suitable researchers to join our highly successful team

Why undertake an Honours or PhD project at the Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry?

World-class research group and facilities. This was recently demonstrated by SCU's top rank of 5 (well above world-class) in 0402 Geochemistry in the Australian governments Excellence in Research Assessment (ERA).

  • Passionate supervisors.
  • Topical research, many projects with Industry Partners.
  • Working as part of a team of senior researchers, post-doctoral researchers, PhD students and research assistants.
  • Access to brand new world-class inorganic and organic laboratories, including a new stable isotope facility with some of the only instrumentation of its type in Australia.
  • Well resourced projects as the CCB has significant ARC and Industry funding.
  • Some of the projects involve world-leading international collaborators from USA, Netherlands, Denmark and Greenland.
  • Gaining experience with the use of cutting-edge tools such as stable isotope tracers, biogeochemical process measurements, field instrumentation, experimental manipulations, comparative studies and budgets and modelling.
  • The opportunity to address significant problems that coastal ecosystems face, such as eutrophication, oligotrophication, greenhouse gases, exotic species, ocean acidification, hypoxia, climate change.
  • The option to work in a variety of different coastal environments including estuaries, seagrass beds, mangroves, sands and muds, coastal waters and coral reefs.
  • The option to work on projects in northern NSW, SE QLD, Tasmania, Far North QLD , Heron Island (Great Barrier Reef), Cook Islands (Pacific Ocean) and Greenland.
  • Get out of the city rat-race. Southern Cross University is based at Lismore in northern NSW, Australia. The region is a great place to live with a sub-tropical climate, some of the best beaches and surfing spots in the world and there are also great fishing, scuba diving, and wilderness areas nearby. The quality of life is very high and the cost of living relatively low making the Scholarships worth more in real terms.

Interested applicants should contact Prof Bradley Eyre bradley.eyre@scu.edu.au (02 66203773) to discuss potential projects.


Units in coastal biogeochemistry can be undertaken at the undergraduate and master level through the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

The Unit covers the following topics:

  • Material Loadings to Coastal Ecosystems
  • Estuarine Hydrography, Mixing Characteristics and Residence times
  • Phytoplankton and Primary Productivity
  • Biogeochemical Cycles, Model, Budgets
  • Sediment Biogeochemistry
  • Permeable Sandy Sediments
  • Measuring Biogeochemical Processes
  • Stable Isotopes and Biomarkers
  • Human Impacts on Biogeochemical Cycles
  • Case Studies in Coastal Biogeochemistry
  • Modern analytical methods including: FIA, Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometer, Leco, Wet Chemistry

A core component of the unit is a major project which involves:

  • a literature review on coastal biogeochemical processes.
  • a 2-day field trip to a local estuary where participants learn how to plan and conduct an environmental sampling and monitoring program, undertake salinity runs and learn how to measure a number of biogeochemical processes including primary productivity, benthic fluxes and denitrification using cores and chambers.
  • laboratory sessions using wet chemical techniques and FIA, Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometer, Leco instrumentation to analyse data collected during the field trip.

On completion of this unit participants should be:

  • familiar with how physical, geological, chemical and biological processes (biogeochemistry) interact to control the fate and effect of material on the metabolism of coastal ecosystems;
  • familiar with the techniques to measure biogeochemical processes in coastal ecosystems;
  • familiar with standard sample collection, handling, preservation and storage procedures for sediment, water, and biological samples;
  • familiar with a range of modern analytical instrumentation and be able to describe the advantages, limitations and uses of the various techniques.