PhD Opportunity: Airborne Particulates in the Pacific

The ambient air quality of Pacific Island Countries (PICs) has been deteriorating in recent years and increasing incidences of human respiratory illness observed. Since 2018 UNSW air quality monitoring and sampling equipment have been measuring concentrations air particles (PM2.5, PM10 & Total Suspended Particulates) in urban and peri-urban areas of Honiara, Solomon Islands and Suva, Fiji. The project is now expanding to Tonga and Vanuatu with equipment being installed in 2022 and PhD researchers sought to work on this expansion. Data collected to date have shown concentrations exceeding the 2021 WHO guideline for PM2.5 which is concerning. This project aims to understand the role of local and transboundary sources of airborne particulates.

UNSW’s research is being undertaken as part of a collaborative research partnership. The research partners are Fiji National University, the Queensland University of Technology, the University of Queensland and the University of Oxford, with the support of the Fijian Government, the Solomon Islands Government and the World Health Organisation.

The successful candidate will play an engaged and interactive role with the consortium and have both exceptional research and communication skills. The candidate should have a background in either environmental engineering, geography or science (or similar), and a demonstrated ability to conduct some or all of: overseas field work, numerical modelling (R skills already o willing to learn), laboratory analysis, household surveys. Demonstrated experience in the monitoring of pollutants, particles, macro- nutrients and micronutrient compounds in air, water or soil would be beneficial. Experience or interest in the use of remote sensing technologies to would be advantageous but not essential.

The successful candidate will need to be competitive for a domestic or international graduate research scholarship, please see

If you have any questions or would like further information on the project please contact Dr. Andrew Dansie ( or Mr. Jimmy Hilly (

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