April 2015
Message 30

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[Met-jobs] PhD position at University of Canterbury, New Zealand

From Marwan Katurji <>
Date Thu, 16 Apr 2015 08:34:56 +1200

PhD Project Title

Application of thermal imaging (thermography) techniques for management of microclimates in crop fields

We are seeking a PhD candidate to work on the following detailed project. Applicants with academic and/or research background in micrometeorology are encouraged to apply.  The PhD project will include a large field measurement campaign, so skills in the following will be considered an advantage:

1) Micrometeorology observational data collection from eddy correlation systems and subsequent analysis of surface energy balance processes.

2) Spatio-temporal analysis of raster data sets from infrared cameras

The PhD student will be hosted at the Center for Atmospheric Research at the Department of Geography, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, and will be interacting with the project's industrial partner CropLogic. The degree earned will be a PhD in Environmental Science.

Proposed start date: 1 October 2015

Proposed end date: 30 September 2018

PhD Project Description

Precision agriculture aims to help agricultural production in New Zealand by pioneering simple scientific solutions for understanding crop’s response to environmental stimulus. Knowledge and identification of adverse microclimatic conditions within a crop field over a snapshot in time, and monthly or seasonal time periods is key data for developing successful algorithms that will maximize crop management efficiency and reduce costs.

This research will use near-target (ground based tower-mounted and/or unmanned aerial system) remote sensing techniques, which use rapid (sub-second sampling) thermal far-infrared images obtained from relatively cheap far-infrared sensors. Expensive and high-end commercially available Forward Looking Infrared Camera (FLIR) and Optris systems will be tested concurrently with cheaper far-infrared sensors to develop the suitable algorithms that will allow for developing cost efficient systems without sacrificing the quality of the measurements. This technology will give real-time information about air, soil, and vegetation temperatures and other microclimate parameters (like wind, moisture and heat fluxes) in a spatially comprehensive sense (without a need to install multiple monitoring stations). The developed algorithms will assist in assessing crop health, and water and thermal stress.

This research will provide new knowledge of the microclimate thermodynamic state and that will be translated into algorithms capable of deriving water budgets and hence optimize crop management strategies. The thermography techniques will allow us to visually examine the zone of influence of various farming practices in relation to specific crop environments, which will then be translated into precise mitigation options by New Zealand farmers.

PhD Fellowship funding breakdown for 36 months

Stipend NZ$75,000

Allowance NZ$2,666.70

NOTE that funding will be secured after a suitable PhD applicant is chosen.

Please send your _expression_ of interest, CV, academic transcripts and contact details for at least two referees to:

Dr. Marwan Katurji, <>

A/Prof. Peyman Zawar Reza, <>

Applications close on May 7, 2015
Marwan Katurji, PhD
Atmospheric Dynamics, Measurements & Modeling
Center for Atmospheric Research
University of Canterbury,
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch, New Zealand

Room: 407, 4th floor Geography Bldg.
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