The Royal Society of Tasmania 2023 Doctoral Award winner announced
The RST Honours and Awards Committee recently assessed nominations for the 2023 Doctoral (PhD) Award. This award is intended to recognise recent PhD graduates who have made significant advances in the course of their doctoral research. The value of the award is $1,000 (AUD).
Dr Tobias Stål was selected as the winner of the 2023 RST Doctoral Award. Dr Stål is a geophysicist focusing on understanding Antarctica’s deep and shallow structure and properties. He completed his PhD at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, in 2021. The focus of his PhD research was a study of the Antarctic lithosphere revealed by multivariate analysis.
The Antarctic continent, with an area of about 14 million km2, is larger than Australia; yet due to the ice cover and inaccessibility, its geology and lithospheric structure are to a large extent unknown. Advancing our understanding of the Antarctic continent addresses fundamental knowledge gaps in plate tectonics and understanding the interactions between the solid Earth and the cryosphere.
Dr Stål’s PhD research addressed challenging topics such as the identification of sub-ice lithospheric boundaries, and the determination of a new geothermal heat flow model for the continent of Antarctica. The research was enabled by innovations in computational and statistical methodologies, including the development of a new software library to enable the multivariate approaches that were ground-breaking for Antarctica.
Since graduating, Dr Stål has taken up a Research Associate position in computation physics at the School of Natural Sciences, funded by the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence in Antarctic Science. He is currently in East Antarctica conducting remote fieldwork until February 2024 as part of his research.