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CSIRO collaboration

C3 Professors Derek Eamus and Qiang Yu

CSIRO Land and Water have announced that C3 Professors Derek Eamus and Qiang Yu will be part of a CSIRO/UTS collaborative effort studying catchment scale hydrological processes in response to climate change. Australia is the driest inhabited continent and the project aims to improve scientists’ and resource managers’ understanding of the critical processes controlling the responses of catchment water balance to climate change and elevated atmospheric concentrations of CO2.

The multidisciplinary approach of the project draws upon research from ecophysiology, catchment hydrology and global change sciences and recognises the role and impact of vegetation functioning in determining catchment-scale water balance. CSIRO Land and Water experts Dr Lu Zhang and Dr Ying-Ping Wang will lead the project with Professor Eamus providing expertise in ecohydrology and plant-atmosphere flux measurement and Professor Qiang in ecological modelling.

The majority of hydrological studies of the impact of climate change on water availability fail to take into account the role of CO2 feedbacks on vegetation function and water balance. These key processes are also missing from major global models with the result that the ability to reproduce observed soil-water dynamics, especially in arid zones, is limited. The research therefore will contribute directly to improvements in the Australian community land surface model (CABLE).

A key component of the project will be the appointment of a new post doctoral fellow, to be based in Canberra, who will have the opportunity to work with world leaders across three disciplines – plant ecophysiology, ecohydrology and climate change sciences – whilst bringing a new perspective to the modelling teams within CSIRO.

Primary supervisor Dr Lu Zhang said that at present University training in all these three areas is limited.
“The successful postdoctoral fellow will have a unique opportunity to develop high level skills in a demanding area of research,’ he said.

Professors Eamus and Qiang said that the key science outcome of this project would be the capacity to forecast the effects of climate change and higher CO2 concentrations on catchment water balances and provides a direct linkage between CSIRO and UTS in high priority research areas.

CSIRO OCE Fellowship details now available at CSIRO Careers and Employment

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