2021 CIE Conference: Announcing our annual photo competition!

Dear CIE staff and students,

Dust of that old Leica, bring out the 35mm film, and ready your Instagram filters…

📸 We’re excited to announce the 2021 CIE Photo Competition! 📸

Categories for (1) wildlife, (2) ecology in action, (3) comedy wildlife, (4) research from home… and (5) ugly and unpopular!

Find the full details below 👇

And a reminder that both speaker and general registrations for the annual CIE Conference are still open!

We look forward in welcoming you to the 2021 CIE Annual Conference!

Zoom links will be emailed to registered event participants closer to the date.

Stay updated during the conference!

Follow us on Twitter @DeakinCIE


CIE Seminar Series – 2021: Climate adaptation for Australia’s threatened species

SPEAKER: Dr Kita Ashman, Threatened Species and Climate Adaptation Ecologist, WWF Australia

DATE & TIME: Thursday, 16th September 2021 @ 4:00PM.

LOCATION: Seminar to be streamed via Zoom. Click HERE to connect (Meeting ID: 408 120 6183, Password: 06048505).

Scroll down for more options on how to connect.


The past three scorching Australian summers, setting new national temperature and bushfire records, have made the threat of climate change on Australia’s wildlife demonstrable. Consequently, climate change – or more specifically, the need to better understand how to help species adapt and become more resilient to a warming climate needs to be factored into all on-going conservation efforts.

WWF Australia is currently investing over $1M to test approaches to reduce the vulnerability of wildlife to changes in the climate through on-the-ground projects. These projects work across a variety of species and landscapes, and are in collaboration with leading researchers, environmental organisations, and Traditional Owner groups.

This presentation will highlight some of the projects that are being implemented under WWF’s Threatened Species & Climate Adaptation Strategy.


Kita Ashman studied Wildlife & Conservation Biology as an undergrad at Deakin, then went on to do an honours project on the evolution of moth signalling structures, with Matt Symodns – also at Deakin. After honours, she completed a PhD in Wildlife Ecology (as you guess it – Deakin), focussing on koala distribution, abundance and spatial dynamics in plantation landscapes, under Desley Whisson’s supervision.

Kita has worked on koala management programs with state governments in VIC and SA, and has worked on the Glossy Black Cockatoo recovery program and on Zoo’s Vic Leadbeater’s possum recovery program.

After completing her PhD, she did a short stint in David Lindenmayer’s lab at ANU, monitoring biodiversity throughout the Central Highlands, then jumped ship when she was offered her current role as Threatened Species & Climate Adaptation Ecologist at WWF Australia.

For more information on Kita’s work watch this video or read more on the WWF-Australia website. You can also follow Kita on Twitter (click HERE).

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!

More options on how to connect:

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Meeting ID: 408 120 6183
Find your local number: https://deakin.zoom.us/u/kbmpLHKjBY

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PhD position @ Deakin University – Animal personality and performance and pace-of-life

PhD Opportunity – Deakin University, supervised by A/Prof Peter Biro (Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus)

Research topic

The inter-relationships between physiology, behaviour, performance and life history are fundamental to understanding the function and evolution of individual phenotypes. Studying these relationships can help us understand why highly flexible traits like behaviour and physiology can consistently differ among individuals. At the same time, studying individual variation in physiology and behaviour can help us understand animal performance (e.g. endurance, maximal oxygen consumption VO2max) and life history, including growth, reproduction and immune function.

This very broad focus includes and combines areas of study such as animal personality, behavioural plasticity, evolution, developmental plasticity and energetics.

The implications of understanding these trait linkages at the individual level are fundamental for understanding animal adaptation to changing environments, and for understanding the highly individual nature of health and disease resistance in humans and other animals.

Project aim

Although the potential projects are flexible, as are the study species, a fey focus would likely be studying correlations among resting metabolic rate, maximum metabolic rate, behaviour, performance and life history at the among individual level. This could involve

(a) longitudinal studies on trait relationships at the individual level,

(b) artificial selection on aspects of performance and/or behaviour to study co-evolution of related traits,

(c) manipulations of developmental environment to understand why traits are linked in particular ways.

Study animals might include invertebrates or zebrafish, but studies would likely be laboratory based. Students with interests in studying individual variation in physiology and behaviour are encouraged to contact A/Prof Pete Biro to discuss these or other areas of study that would be mutually interesting.

Important dates

Applications will remain open until a candidate has been appointed.


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $28,600 per annum tax exempt (2021 rate);
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate;
  • International students only: Tuition fees offset for the duration of 4 years. Single Overseas Student Health Cover policy for the duration of the student visa.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be either a domestic or international candidate currently residing in Australia. Domestic includes candidates with Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Residency or New Zealand Citizenship;
  • meet Deakin’s PhD entry requirements;
  • be enrolling full time and hold an honours degree (first class) or an equivalent standard master’s degree with a substantial research component.

Please refer to the research degree entry pathways page for further information.

Additional desirable criteria include:

  • Interest and aptitude for studying behaviour and/or physiology, and for statistical modelling, in particular mixed effects models.

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