News Jobs Events

PhD scholarship opportunity in Community Ecology and Freshwater Biodiversity in Tasmania

We are seeking applicants for a PhD Scholarship at the University of Tasmania (Hobart, Tasmania, Australia). The project revolves around replicated field experiments across a range of agricultural catchments in northern Tasmania and south-west Western Australia, and we already have a companion PhD candidate at Murdoch University (Perth, Western Australia) to undertake the WA portion of this research.
The research seeks to test the common assumption that high biodiversity makes ecosystems resilient to disturbances. Observational studies documenting change after disturbance cannot identify ecological processes connecting diversity and ecosystem function, making field experiments that manipulate identical disturbances in ecosystems with different biodiversity essential. Freshwater streams are excellent model systems to test these ideas. This project will use field experiments that manipulate flow disturbances in streams replicated in low (south-west WA) and high biodiversity (Tasmania) regions and across gradients of chronic background stress imposed by agriculture to investigate how biodiversity sustains functional ecosystems, and how much diversity can be lost before the resilience of a stream is irrevocably compromised. Both benthic biodiversity
and ecosystem processes will be measured.
There will be laboratory and smaller-scale field investigations to further unravel the underlying mechanisms, and the results will support food-web and community assembly modelling as the initial step to providing a synthetic platform to make predictions and test further hypotheses. The project is a collaboration between the University of Tasmania (hosting the Tasmanian PhD student), Murdoch University (hosting the WA PhD student) and Massey University (New Zealand), and is funded by the Australian Research Council Discovery Program.

Applicants for this scholarship should be able to address the following selection criteria:

  • A First Class or high Upper Second Class Honours degree or equivalent qualification (e.g. Masters degree by research).
  • A good understanding of community ecology, biodiversity, limnology or freshwater ecology.
  • Willingness to use microscopes to identify macroinvertebrates and/or benthic algae.
  • Sound quantitative skills.
  • Good written and verbal scientific communication skills.
  • Ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary research team.
  • Willingness to work in remote locations including supervising volunteer field assistants.
  • Current driving licence, preferably with manual or 4WD experience.

Applicants interested in this project should contact Associate Professor Leon A. Barmuta ( , phone +61 (0)3 6226 2785) as soon as possible.
After initial discussions, prospective candidates may be required to prepare the following documents:

  • A full Curriculum Vitae (i.e. Resumé) including the names and contact details for at least two academic referees;
  • A transcript of their tertiary academic record, including grades obtained, and;
  • And an Expression of Interest (one A4 page maximum) outlining which of the selection criteria they feel they meet.

Due date for these documents will likely be 14th February 2020.
Once we have these documents, we will contact eligible candidates to progress to the University’s formal Scholarship application procedure.
Information for domestic students are here:
Information about support procedures for international students can be sought from: and for the University of Tasmania.


Post-Doctoral Positions at University of Canberra

Two post-doctoral positions are available at the University of Canberra in the newly established Centre for Applied Water Science, to work in partnership with CSIRO, a range of university, agency and Commonwealth government partners to carry out research on the critical issue of environmental water management in the Murray Darling Basin.

The positions are funded through the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office Basin-wide FLOW-Monitoring, Evaluation and Research (FLOW-MER) program. More information can be found here.

Post-doctoral Research Fellow in Biodiversity Responses

 Post-doctoral Research Fellow in Aquatic Ecosystem Energetics

If you require further information on these positions, please contact Professor Ross Thompson. E-mail:

If you require any further assistance please contact 


PhD project in lake biogeochemistry

Small dams (ponds) as a source of greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O) 


Lakes are one of the largest aquatic source of greenhouse gases (GHG) such as methane. Recent studies have highlighted the important role of small lake/ponds as a source of GHG. Australia is a dry continent and has a large number of small farm dams (ponds), but little is known about their contribution of GHGs. This fully funded project will study a number of dams from tropical to temperate regions along the east coast of Australia to determine how much GHG they emit, and the factors controlling these emissions. This project will use a combination of different techniques such as stable isotopes, cavity ring down spectroscopy, floating chambers, bubble traps and benthic process measurements.

Applicants will need to have an Honours or Master degree, undertaken in English, in a related field such as biogeochemistry, environmental chemistry, or closely related. The project will involve extended periods in the field, including in boats, sometimes in remote areas. The PhD scholarship will provide a tax-free stipend of $27,400 and tuition fees will be exempt. Interested applicants should send their CV highlighting their research background and interests in this area to Prof. Bradley Eyre – ( Only short-listed applicants will be notified. Closing date November 8, 2019 although it may be extended longer if position is not filled. Starting date is flexible, but preferably early 2020.

The project will be undertaken in the Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry ( at Southern Cross University which received the highest rank of 5.0, well above world average, in geochemistry in the most recent assessment of research excellence by the Australian government.


CFE Research Office Fellow




 If you have something to be added here please contact the AFSS secretariat: