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Student in US to gain knowledge on sea-level rise

By Leanne Miles

PhD candidate Mike Miloshis helps to build a tower in South Carolina, United States, to measure the changes in forest microclimate due to saltwater intrusion PhD candidate Mike Miloshis helps to build a tower in South Carolina, United States, to measure the changes in forest microclimate due to saltwater intrusion

Charles Darwin University PhD candidate Mike Miloshis is in the United States on a 10-week study tour to work with world-renown experts on issues relating to sea-level rise and saltwater intrusion.

Mike received the invitation because of his expertise in sea-level rise modelling. He has completed an extensive research project predicting the potential impacts of sea-level rise on the Mary River in the Northern Territory.

Building a state-of-the-art hydrodynamic model of the area with detailed topography, bathymetry and recorded hydrographic data, he used the Mary River as a case study, investigating the model under different sea-level rise scenarios.

His PhD is forming the next stage of the research, which involves collecting the necessary data in the field to calibrate and validate the model.

“I am working with researchers to investigate saltwater intrusion field techniques that will form a large part of my research,” Mike said.

“It will be a great opportunity to visit tidally influenced forest and marsh wetland ecosystems outside of Australia, and work with some of the best researchers in their field.”

Funded through the School of Engineering and IT and with support from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), Mike is based at the USGS National Wetlands Research Centre (NWRC) in Lafayette, Louisiana.

During his visit he is working with the NWRC research team, which is investigating the effects of sea-level rise and other climate change factors on coastal wetlands of the south-eastern US. 

“It will also help build future research partnerships between our groups in relation to sharing knowledge, and modelling salinity movement, sea-level rise, and habitat change,” he said.

His first US placement was in South Carolina where he helped build a tower to measure changes in forest microclimate due to saltwater intrusion. Following a four-week intensive at the NWRC, he will visit USGS scientists in Virginia and will present his research at the annual meeting of the Society of Wetland Scientists.