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- Conserving koalas in a complex landscape
- The effects of wetland management on microbial carbon breakdown in Australian wetlands
- Population genomics of Australian alpine plants: Identifying vulnerable plant species and climate-ready seed sources
- Determining the resilience of Australian alpine plants in a future climate
- Mechanisms underpinning the formation and stabilisation of coastal blue carbon
- Conservation genomics of the short-finned eel
Conserving koalas in a complex landscape
We are seeking candidates with interests in terrestrial wildlife ecology and conservation genetics, and experience in undertaking ecological field research.
The position is available only to domestic students. Applicants should have achieved an excellent grade (e.g., H1 or HD) in an Honours or a MSc research program and have proven skills in scientific writing.
The successful candidate will be offered a 3-year PhD scholarship (~$28,000 p.a. tax free) with potential for a 6-month extension through the School of Life and Environmental Sciences. The scholarship is fully funded by Hancock Victoria Plantations (HVP) who will also provide annual operational funding and in-kind support to the project.
The PhD candidate will be supervised by Dr Desley Whisson and Dr Adam Miller. The position is based at the Melbourne (Burwood) Campus but will involve considerable field work in South Gippsland.
The South Gippsland koala population is of high conservation significance due to its genetic uniqueness. However, little is known about this population to inform its conservation (Wedrowicz et al. 2018). The population occurs in a region where habitat is highly fragmented, and where establishment and harvest of forestry plantations result in a spatially and temporally dynamic landscape. Effective conservation of this population relies on an understanding of the population’s geographical extent, gene flow through the landscape, use of forestry plantations, and koala response to forestry management actions.
This project aims to improve our understanding of the spatial and temporal dynamics of the South Gippsland koala population, and the response of koalas to forest management activities.
Specific objectives are:
- To determine the geographical extent of the South Gippsland koala population and patterns of gene flow/connectivity in the landscape;
- To understand koala behaviour and use of different habitat types including pine plantations that may provide important shade, cover, or links between native vegetation;
- To determine the impacts of pre-harvest translocation of koalas on koala health and movements.
This is an applied, multidisciplinary project combining studies of spatial ecology, conservation genetics, and wildlife health. Studies will involve surveys for collection and genetic analysis of scat, koala surveys across a range of vegetation types to identify factors influencing distribution, habitat use and behaviour, and a telemetry study coupled with scat analysis. The PhD student will have considerable input into study design.
Please note that submitting your expression of interest and CV is not a formal application for a Postgraduate Research Degree at Deakin. You will be advised by the faculty if you should proceed to applying for candidature and the scholarship.
The EOI Form and CV must be submitted by 19th July 2021.
Interested candidates may contact Desley Whisson (email@example.com; Ph: 03 9251 7302) to discuss the project and experience/skills required prior to submitting an application.
The effects of wetland management on microbial carbon breakdown in Australian wetlands
PhD position within the Blue Carbon Lab @ Deakin university
The PhD candidate will investigate how wetland restoration and management influences a key part of the carbon cycle – plant litter decomposition. It is a multidisciplinary project that combines microbial ecology, biogeochemistry and wetland ecology. This work sits within a larger research program investigating global wetland decomposition, TeaComposition H2O.
3-year program inclusive of a AUD$28,600 per year stipend, tax exempt. International applications contingent on COVID-19 restrictions. Domestic applicants may be prioritised.
Who should apply? The scholarship would suit a highly-motivated candidate with an interest in coastal and freshwater wetland ecology, biogeochemistry and/or microbial ecology. Applicants will require a first-class honours (or equivalent) or a Masters degree in a similar field. We are looking for a candidate who is independent and works well in an interdisciplinary team environment. Excellent written communication skills are desired. A driver’s license is required for the fieldwork component. Selection will be based on prior academic experience.
Research Environment: The PhD candidate will be principally supervised by DECRA fellow Dr Stacey Trevathan-Tackett and will work within Deakin University’s Blue Carbon Lab, led by A/Prof. Peter Macreadie, the School of Life and Environmental Science and the Centre for Integrative Ecology. The position is based at the Melbourne/Burwood Campus.
Applications open now until the position is filled. To apply, send firstname.lastname@example.org your CV and a cover letter outlining your research interests and experience and why you want to do this PhD. Please include contact details for two referees.
Population genomics of Australian alpine plants: Identifying vulnerable plant species and climate-ready seed sources
PhD opportunity – Deakin University (Warrnambool campus)
The ECOGENETICS LAB is seeking a PhD candidate to contribute to an Australian Research Council funded research program aimed at enhancing the resilience of Australian alpine plant communities through strategic restoration practices.
The Australian Alps are recognized as one of the world’s major biodiversity hotspots and critically vulnerable to climate change. Here, plant communities are already showing signs of climate stress, threatening environmental and associated cultural and socioeconomic values in the region.
The persistence of alpine plant species under climate change will largely depend on plastic responses or rapid evolutionary change. Some species will likely tolerate substantial environmental fluctuations via existing plasticity, while others are expected to be pushed to physiological limits and become increasingly dependent on evolving to maintain current distributions.
The PhD candidate will use a combination of common garden and genomic approaches to decipher the likely contributions of plasticity, local adaptation and gene flow to future adaptive responses in a range of functionally important alpine plant species. This study will help to improve biodiversity outcomes under climate change by identifying key plant species with reduced adaptive potential and in need of intervention, as well ‘climateready’ seed sources for restoration purposes.
This exciting project will involve a combination of field work in the Australian alps and lab-based activities, and partnerships with a number of government agencies and Australian universities. The position is based at Deakin’s Warrnambool campus and is available to both domestic and international students. The student will be supervised by Dr Adam Miller, Dr Susanna Venn (Deakin University), Prof Adrienne Nicotra (Australian National University) and Prof John Morgan (La Trobe University).
Applicants are expected to have 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 a specific interest and experience in wildlife ecology, botany, or ecological genetics (not essential). The successful candidate will be awarded a 3-year PhD scholarship (~AU$28,000 p.a. tax free) through the School of Life and Environmental Sciences.
PhD position – Determining the resilience of Australian alpine plants in a future climate
The eXtreme Plant Ecology Research Team in the Centre for Integrative Ecology is seeking a PhD candidate to contribute to an Australian Research Council funded research program aimed at enhancing the resilience of Australian alpine plant communities through strategic restoration practices.
The Australian Alps are recognized as one of the world’s major biodiversity hotspots and critically vulnerable to climate change. Alpine plant communities are already showing signs of climate stress, are under threat from exotic pest plants and animals, and are recovering from a legacy of stock grazing.
As a result, large areas of alpine environments require ongoing restoration works across National Parks and Alpine Resorts. There is urgent need for progressive management strategies to maximise restoration success through consideration of future soil water availability, plant thermal tolerances, and the adaptability of functionally important plant species.
To bolster the resilience of alpine landscapes under climate change; we must understand the interactions between the physical and biological processes underpinning the health of alpine environments and adaptability of alpine plant communities.
An excellent PhD candidate with a background in ecological science and/or botany is sought to join an exciting project, co-funded by the Centre for Integrative Ecology and the Australian Research Council and our industry partners Parks Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Mount Hotham Alpine Resort and Southern Alpine Resort Management Board, and will make use of the Australian Mountain Research Facility.
Depending of the project scope, the candidate will have a unique opportunity to focus on aspects of:
- Plant water relations and ecophysiology
- Plant regeneration and recruitment
- Seed ecology
- Snow ecology
- Plant thermal tolerance
The results of the project will assist alpine land managers choose the right species for restoration projects, thereby building resilience into these vulnerable environments.
The candidate will join the new and supportive eXtreme Plant Ecology Research Team at Deakin Burwood campus, and will be jointly supervised by Susanna Venn, Adam Miller, John Morgan (La Trobe University) and Adrienne Nicotra (Australian National University).
Applicants are expected to have 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 a specific interest and experience in plant ecology, botany, or plant ecophysiology.
The successful candidate will be awarded a 3-year PhD scholarship (~AU$28,000 p.a. tax free) through the Centre of Integrative Ecology and the School of Life and Environmental Sciences.
An anticipated commencement date is October 2020 or early 2021.
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:
MICROBIAL COMMUNITY GENOMICS WITHIN BLUE CARBON ECOSYSTEMS
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.
BIOCHEMICAL MECHANISMS OF BLUE CARBON
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 (email@example.com):
- 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.
- 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.
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:
- Undertaking population genomic analyses to gain insights into eel stock connectivity and spatial patterns of recruitment across the species range;
- Using eDNA tools to assess patterns of habitat use within catchments;
- 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.
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