FREE online course: IUCN Red List of Ecosystems – The Global Standard for Assessing Risks to Ecosystems

This course introduces the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems and its successful use and policy impact through real-world case studies

The IUCN Red List of Ecosystems is the global standard for ecosystem risk assessment, used by governments, NGOs, scientists and practitioners to sustain biodiversity worldwide.

Deakin has developed a free training course on the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems. The course is designed for conservation practitioners and decision-makers, as well as those with an interest in sustainability. It will help learners understand the Red List of Ecosystems approach and scientific basis, how the criteria and categories are applied, and how it can help make scientifically based decisions for policy and management practices.

This course is self-guided; while nominally designed over two weeks, it takes approx. 6 hours, and can be done at your own pace (even in one day). You can join the course as of Monday, June 1st 2020 or at any other time you choose.

To access the free online course visit – IUCN Red List of Ecosystems: The Global Standard for Assessing Risks to Ecosystems.

There are also some parts that are accessible without logging in, for example THIS VIDEO, allowing you to meet Loyiso Dunga from SANBI in South Africa. Loyiso completed our four day Red List of Ecosystems training in Kenya in 2019. Defiantly worth watching 🙂

The course is available via the FutureLearn platform and focus on A/Prof Emily Nicholson‘s research (and work on the science-policy interface).

More information is available on the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems website.

PhD opportunity @ Deakin University – Mechanisms underpinning the formation and stabilisation of coastal blue carbon

Mechanisms underpinning the formation and stabilisation of coastal blue carbon

PhD position within the Blue Carbon Lab @ Deakin university

We are looking for a PhD candidate to join our ARC Discovery grant research on the “Mechanisms underpinning the formation and stabilisation of coastal blue carbon”.

Candidates can apply for either of these two projects:

The project will aim to address the following:

    • Characterise the functional capacity of microbial communities associated with recalcitrant Blue Carbon;
    • Investigate sequence variation in taxonomic groups, functional gene repertoires and metabolic potential;
    • Provide significant insight into the higher-order community organisation and dynamics of coastal microbiomes, and their variation among habitat type and depth.

The applicant will need to:

    • Characterise recalcitrant carbon within Blue Carbon ecosystems using NMR for particulate organic carbon (POC) and FT-ICR-MS for dissolved organic carbon (DOC);
    • Identify mechanisms of formation and destabilisation of recalcitrant carbon and quantify the impacts of environmental controls;
    • Coordinating all relevant analyses (ie. gas flux measurements, elemental analyses, and chemical characterisation).

How to apply: PhD applicants should email the following documents to Dr Stacey Trevathan-Tackett (

  • CV highlighting your skills, education, publications and relevant work experience;
  • Cover letter (1 page) outlining your interest in the position and how your previous experience and technical skills suit the position.

Please note:

  • Both projects are open to PhD applicants, who will be enrolled in a 3-year PhD based at Deakin University’s Burwood campus (Melbourne);
  • We are UNABLE to provide individual feedback on competitiveness. The following features were common among PhD candidates interviewed at the Blue Carbon Lab: (a) First authored-paper in scientific journal, (b) first class Honours/Masters, (c) experience directly related to the project, and (d) an accolade that reflects the student being among the top in their academic cohort;
  • Applications will be received until the position is filled.

For more available positions within the CIE please visit our Current Vacancies page.

PhD opportunity @ Deakin University – Fisheries ecology of rock flathead in south eastern Australia

Fisheries ecology of rock flathead in south eastern Australia

PhD Scholarship Opportunity @ Deakin University, Victoria, Australia

We have an exciting opportunity to obtain a PhD scholarship through Deakin University, working with Dr Justin Rizzari and Dr Adam Miller at the Deakin University Queenscliff Marine Science Centre.

The position is available to domestic students only. Applicants should have achieved an excellent grade (e.g., H1 or HD) in an Honours or MSc research program, and proven skills in scientific writing.

We are seeking candidates with an interest and experience in fish biology and ecology. Experience in fish tagging, boating- and diving-based field work, and/or population genetics is desired, but not critical.

Successful candidates will be offered a 3-year PhD scholarship (~AU$28,000 p.a. tax free) through the School of Life and Environmental Sciences to work on the following project funded by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation:

Project: Rock flathead (Platycephalus laevigatus) supports an important commercial fishery in south-eastern Australia. However, the stock structure of rock flathead is largely unknown.

This project will use an integrated approach involving the application of acoustic tracking and chemical tracers coupled with population genomics to address key questions around fisheries stock structure and processes influencing the dynamics of rock flathead fisheries.

Outputs from this program are expected to assist in the sustainable management of the rock flathead fishery and provide an improved understanding of processes shaping marine biodiversity in south-eastern Australia. The project will also involve engaging with government and fisheries industry stakeholders.

To apply, please send your Expression of Interest form (download from HERE) and CV to Dr Justin Rizzari (

The position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found. Please note that submission of an Expression of Interest and accompanying documentation is not a formal application for a Research Degree at Deakin.

An ‘Invitation to Apply’ will be required from the Faculty to progress to the formal application stage. The Invitation to Apply does not guarantee an offer of admission and will be subject to any conditions stipulated on the Invitation.

For more available positions within the CIE please visit our Current Vacancies page.

CIE Seminar Series – 2020: Sea turtle research in the Chagos Archipelago marine protected area

SPEAKER: Dr Jacques-Olivier Laloë, Associate Research Fellow, Centre for Integrative Ecology, School of Life & Environmental Sciences, Deakin University

DATE & TIME: Friday, 29th May 2020 @ 12:00 noon

LOCATION: Seminar to be streamed via Zoom. Click HERE to connect.


The Chagos Archipelago lies in the middle of one of the largest marine protected areas (MPA) in the world and has a rich diversity of marine life including sea turtles. Deakin University has collaborated with other universities and carried out research in the Chagos Archipelago MPA since 2012.

Here I will present some of our research at this unique site, including the surveying of beaches for turtle nesting activities, the long-term monitoring of sand temperatures to track climate warming, the tracking of adult and juvenile turtles with satellite tags, and drone surveys of key foraging habitats.

Our work improves our understanding of the biology and ecology of both hawksbill and green sea turtles that use the Indian Ocean during parts of their life histories and helps drive national and international conservation policies for sea turtles in general.


Jacques-Olivier Laloë is a post-doctoral researcher at Deakin University, Australia. His main research interests are sea turtle ecology, biotelemetry, climate change and conservation.

He has worked with sea turtles since 2007 and his main study sites include the Cape Verde Islands, French Polynesia, and the Chagos Archipelago.

For more info click HERE or visit Jacques-Olivier’s website.

Zoom appointments with speaker may be made via

As a courtesy, we request that when connecting to the seminar that you mute your microphone unless you are required to speak, this would ensure that the sound from the speaker to the audience is not disrupted by feedback from your microphone.

Thanking you in advance!

3 PhD positions @ Deakin University – conservation science

3 PhD positions in conservation science

We are currently looking for 3 enthusiastic PhD students for exciting projects in conservation science. The projects are outlined below. More details can be found on A/Prof Emily Nicholson’s lab website, on the selection criteria, the projects and supervision teams.

These projects are largely desk-based (ideal at the moment), but will have strong international and national collaboration networks. Start dates are ASAP – preferably by August/September, but with some flexibility. All three will be funded by Deakin University scholarships, and are open to Australia and international students.

Please note: closing date for all 3 positions is Monday, June 1st 2020.

Project 1: Planning for sustainable development and biodiversity on Indigenous lands

The complexity of planning for sustainable development is exemplified in the Tiwi Islands, 60km north of Darwin in the Northern Territory, Australia. The Tiwi Land Council is seeking to expand economic opportunities for Tiwi communities and to improve social, economic and health outcomes for the Tiwi people, while sustaining the Islands’ unique cultural and biodiversity values.

This project aims to support decision-making on the Tiwi islands, through new methods for collaborative land-use planning that advance knowledge about trade-offs between sustainable economic development and biodiversity conservation on Indigenous lands. Our approach is trans-disciplinary and participatory, integrating Indigenous and scientific knowledge and methods.

This project will:

  1. map past and current distributions of key species, drawing on these different sources, working with Tiwi communities and research assistants, and scientists across Australia, and
  2. develop models of potential future dynamics under scenarios of climate and land-use change, and different management strategies.

Project 2: Improving the implementation and integration of biodiversity risk assessments

The Earth is currently experiencing a global biodiversity crisis. Ecosystems are collapsing and species extinctions are occurring at an unprecedented rate. The IUCN Red List of Ecosystems was developed to assess risks to biodiversity, and is rapidly gaining traction in informing global conservation targets and national assessments of threatened communities. In this project, the PhD student will use a combination of literary synthesis, field work and modelling to explore how the Red List of Ecosystems can be implemented and used to improve conservation outcomes, including developing an understanding of:

  1. how temporal and spatial scale of data influence outcomes of assessments;
  2. how different assessment processes (i.e. the Red List of Ecosystems and the Red List of Threatened Species) work together to enhance conservation decision making;
  3. how Red List assessment can improve management recommendations and outcomes.

Project 3: Connecting biodiversity risk assessment, human well-being and natural capital accounting

Ecosystem degradation and species extinctions are eroding the capacity of the environment to provide essential services that sustain human well-being, economies and social fabrics. Multiple approaches have been developed to assess risks to biodiversity (for example the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and the Red List of Ecosystems), to value the benefits it supports, and to account for stocks and flows of the benefits from natural capital to human well-being. These approaches remain largely disparate, with limited exchanges between extensive ecological and economic knowledge bases and data. In this trans-disciplinary project, the PhD student will bring together different knowledge types and theory to improve the monitoring and management of natural ecosystems. The student will:

  1. review the theory and empirical evidence supporting the relationships between ecosystems, benefits they provide and human well-being; and
  2. use novel modelling and statistical approaches, together with several case studies, to bring together the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems approach and the United Nations System of Environmental Economic Accounting (UN SEEA EEA) approach.

By working with leading authors in both the RLE and SEEA approaches, this exciting PhD project will influence global and national policy approaches and measurement standards.

For more available positions within the CIE please visit our Current Vacancies page.

PhD opportunity @ Deakin University (Warrnambool campus) – Conservation genomics of the short-finned eel

PhD opportunity @ Deakin University – (Warrnambool campus)

Conservation genomics of the short-finned eel

The ECOGENETICS LAB is seeking a PhD candidate for a research program aimed at addressing critical knowledge gaps around understanding the resilience of short-finned eel fisheries in south-eastern Australia. The project will have a particular focus on the ancient ‘kuuyang” fishery within the UNESCO Budj Bim Cultural Landscape.

This exciting project will involve a combination of field and lab-based activities, and provides an excellent opportunity to develop key skills and knowledge in conservation and fisheries genomics. The project will be conducted in close partnership with Traditional Owners, local government, and industry.

This project will have three complementary research components:

    1. Undertaking population genomic analyses to gain insights into eel stock connectivity and spatial patterns of recruitment across the species range;
    2. Using eDNA tools to assess patterns of habitat use within catchments;
    3. Applying DNA metabarcoding approaches to assess eel diet based on the genomic analysis of eel stomach samples.

Outcomes from this study will provide new insights into the species life history and a resource for assessing the resilience of eel fisheries to environmental change and informing future management.

The position is based at Deakin’s Warrnambool campus and is available to both domestic and international students. Applicants should have achieved an excellent grade (e.g., H1 or HD) in an Honours or a MSc research program, and proven skills in scientific writing.

We are seeking candidates with an interest and experience in wildlife ecology, fish biology, or ecological genetics (not essential). The successful candidate will be awarded a 3-year PhD scholarship (~AU$28,000 p.a. tax free + $5,000 p.a. scholarship top-up from research partner) through the School of Life and Environmental Sciences.

Contact Dr Adam Miller ( or vist our lab page (ECOGENETICS LAB) for furture details.

For more available positions within the CIE please visit our Current Vacancies page.