​Dear colleagues

FYI: Here is a notice for a PhD scholarship at the University of Auckland (below). The PhD project, focused on anonymisation of movement data, is part of a wider funded project led by Dr Katarzyna Sila-Nowicka and would suit a GIScientist and/or quantitative geographer. 

All the best



Dr Tom Baker
Senior Lecturer in Human Geography | University of Auckland
+64 9 923 8554 | t.baker@auckland.ac.nz | @tom_a_baker


PhD position in GIScience - Anonymisation of movement data.

Application Deadline: February 28, 2021

Project description: I am recruiting a PhD student for a research project that intersects Geographic Information Science, computer science, data science and quantitative geography. The PhD candidate should have a background in computer science, GIScience, Geomatics or quantitative geography and will be responsible for supervised development of computational models, processing large volumes of movement data and analysing the usability of the developed methods for public good in urban spaces. The purpose of the project is to:

  1. Identify and measure the trade-offs between data anonymisation methods and any subsequent “information loss” that reduces the datasets’ capacity to usefully impact critical human challenges.
  2. Test and build a set of powerful ethical anonymisation tools with algorithms that maximise data usability and individual privacy across a number of example applications.

The PhD student will co-author a number of journal publications and will present results of their work at national and international conferences.

The supervisory team is expected to consist of Dr Katarzyna Sila-Nowicka and Prof Mark Gahegan from the University of Auckland, and supported by the international collaborators on this Marsden project: Dr Urska Demsar, University of St Andrews and Dr Martin Tomko, the University of Melbourne.

Qualifications: Applicants must have an MSc in either computer science, data science, GIScience or geography, with demonstrable evidence of skills in spatial analysis and programming (e.g. R, Python). Students without coding skills will not be considered. A theoretical and applied knowledge of database management is required. The candidate must also be able to demonstrate an ability for scientific communication, including peer-reviewed research, presentations or reports. A good understanding of the ethical and technical implications of releasing location data is desirable.

Compensation:  The scholarship will cover fees and a tax-free stipend for 3 years full time study. 

Instructions: Please email katarzyna.sila-nowicka@auckland.ac.nz a pdf including the following: 1) one-page cover letter detailing a) evidence of meeting the required qualifications and b) research and career goals; 2) a recent CV, 3) copies of undergraduate and postgraduate transcripts; 4) contact information for three references; 5) a sample of academic writing: MSc dissertation or a copy of a journal/conference paper. The project is anticipated to begin in spring 2021 or soon after. Review of applications will start in March 2021.​