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Postgraduate Opportunities

PhD Opportunities


PhD in Deer Movement and Behaviour Project

We are seeking a PhD student to work on an exciting new project: Deer movement and genetics in the Australian Alps (NSW region) to inform pest management. 

In collaboration with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Environment Trust Deer Project team we are seeking a PhD student to undertake the above project in Kosciuszko National Park (KNP) and adjacent privately managed lands. The project will involve GPS collaring of sambar and fallow deer, collection of deer DNA and analysis of population structure (primarily sambar and fallow), collection of longitudinal deer behaviour knowledge from public and private land managers, and collection of on-going observational data using qualitative and quantitative survey techniques.

The project has significant in-kind project support via the Environmental Trust and NPWS Deer Project Team, including assistance in field work, equipment (aerial netting gear, GPS units, sampling kits, etc) and other key project costs.

The student will be based at The University of Sydney in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences within the Global Ecology Lab supervised by Dr. Thomas Newsome and Dr. Catherine Grueber.

Australian candidates must be competitive to receive stipend support under the Research Training Program (RTP). A variety of scholarships are available for international students. The current RTP stipend rate at The University of Sydney is $35k tax free per annum. A top up scholarship of up to $10k per annum will be provided to a candidate who successfully receives an RTP stipend. If the selected candidate does not receive RTP support, we will consider funding a full scholarship at the rate of $40k per annum.

For more information and to submit an expression of interest, please contact Dr. Thomas Newsome at thomas.newsome@sydney.edu.au [lab website: https://thomasnewsome.com/]  

The expression of interest should include a cover letter and CV. Please include details of your degrees (including average marks), relevant work and research experience, field experience in remote locations, publications, and ability to use programs like GIS, statistical packages like and/or experience undertaking genetic analyses. A shortlist of applicants may be required to interview or meet the project team. A single applicant will be selected for the position and invited to apply for stipend support. The student will enrol in Q3 2021 (enrolment and RTP applications are due to The University of Sydney by 30th March 2021).

Expressions of interest will close 26th February 2021



PhD in Sulphur-crested Cockatoo behavioural ecology, University of Sydney

Closing date:  30 June 2021
Location: The University of Sydney

This project will complement the existing behavioural research by investigating cockatoos ecological adaptions to urban areas.

This research will be co-supervised by Dr John Martin at Taronga Conservation Society Australia and Dr Lucy Aplin at the Max Planck Institute for Animal Behaviour, Germany.

Candidates will have to apply for a PhD scholarship, ideally commencing around July 2021.

Contact details

Contact Professor Dieter Hochuli at The University of Sydney for more information and to discuss scholarship requirements.

PhD in Brush-turkey behavioural adaptation, University of Sydney

Closing date:  30 June 2021
Location: The University of Sydney

This project will build upon current PhD research, focused on ecology, by investigating behavioural adaptions of brush-turkeys to urban areas and if they perform the role of an ecosystem engineer.

This research will be co-supervised by Dr John Martin and Dr Alicia Burns at Taronga Conservation Society Australia.

Candidates will have to apply for a PhD scholarship, ideally commencing around July 2021.

Contact details

Contact Professor Dieter Hochuli at The University of Sydney for more information and to discuss scholarship requirements.


3) PhD/MSc in post-fire wildlife use of tree hollows, University of Sydney

Closing date:  30 June 2021
Location: The University of Sydney

This project will investigate wildlife presence, use of tree hollows and nest boxes and breeding success post-fire. Providing supplementary habitat is widely used but poorly understood; several studies report that nest boxes have not benefitted priority species.

This research will be co-supervised by Dr John Martin at Taronga Conservation Society Australia.

Candidates will have to apply for a PhD scholarship, ideally commencing around July 2021.

Contact details

Contact Professor Dieter Hochuli at The University of Sydney for more information and to discuss scholarship requirements.



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