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Ms Truax and Ms Richter have been awarded Antarctica New Zealand Sir Robin Irvine Doctoral Scholarships, and will each receive $20,000, spread over two years.
Ms Truax's research involves examining a sediment core retrieved after drilling, from Robertson Bay, near Cape Adare, in the Antarctic.
Over the next few years, she will continue her analysis of the sediment core to pull together a geological record that spans the past 6000 years, an Antarctica New Zealand spokeswoman said.
Ms Truax, of the Otago geology department, hopes this detailed record will help reconstruct past climates.
Ms Richter, of the Otago physics department, will study sea ice temperatures in McMurdo Sound and investigate sea ice and ocean temperatures there over more than the past 20 years.
Ms Thomas, of the geology department, has received a $5000 New Zealand Post Antarctic Scholarship, over a year, and also administered by Antarctica New Zealand, to support master of science study of ice mechanics.
She will head to the Priestley Glacier in the Antarctic this summer to study the mechanical behaviour of ice.