Phd Positions In Marine Ecology, Biosecurity And Network Modelling

Cawthron institute - Nelson
new offer (04/07/2020)

job description

PhD positions in marine ecology, biosecurity and network modelling
Effective biosecurity is critical to protect the New Zealand?s unique marine biodiversity and the enormous cultural, social and economic value we derive from it. Cawthron Institute, in collaboration with Deakin and Macquarie universities (Australia), is seeking two PhD candidates to augment a new, 5-year research programme that will develop improved tools for the prevention, detection and management of marine pest incursions. PhD position 1 (below) will be part of a larger workstream that aims to reduce the colonisation of coastal infrastructure (such as pontoons, pilings and seawalls) by invasive marine species. The candidates will develop an in-depth understanding of the interaction between species and their habitats to either enhance desirable or prevent unwanted organisms in the marine environment. Candidates will be interested in marine biology, ecology and substrate engineering with strong experience in one of those fields and an eagerness to develop skills in the others. PhD position 2 will support the development of a network model that captures the dynamics of New Zealand?s maritime transport network and that can be used to simulate the human-assisted spread of marine pest species. This opportunity would suit candidates with an interest in marine ecology, numerical modelling and network analysis. Both positions will provide the opportunity for working as part of an international, multi-organisational, and cross-disciplinary team.
Descriptions and contact details for the PhD positions are listed below:
Green engineering and substrate enhancement. This PhD project will be part of a broader workstream that aims to develop artificial substrates for enhancing native species communities on coastal infrastructure. It will develop a more holistic understanding of the structural and chemical habitat requirements of native intertidal-shallow subtidal species (such as green-lipped mussels) and replicate these using state-of-the-art imaging and printing technology to enhance native biota on marine infrastructure, increase invasion resistance and other ecosystem services. The candidate will then put their newly designed surfaces to the test in real-world situations. This PhD project will require field-sampling, experimental work in the laboratory and field, microscopy, structural design, statistical analyses and data interpretation. In-depth collaboration with chemists, additive manufacturers and engineers will be a key component to this research. This fully funded position will be hosted by Cawthron Institute, with enrolment through Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia). For more information on this opportunity please contact Dr Paul South ( Please attach a CV, names of three referees, and academic transcripts to expressions of interest. Information about entry requirements at Macquarie University can be found here.
Development of a domestic maritime network model. Movements of vessels, aquaculture stock and equipment and other maritime infrastructure are principal pathways for the spread of non-indigenous marine species. Every day, hundreds of recreational, merchant, passenger, fishing and aquaculture vessels transit between New Zealand?s ports, marinas, urban coastal centres, aquaculture farms, marine reserves and iconic natural and culturally significant coastal areas, creating a complex maritime transport network. Understanding the dynamics of this network and its ability to facilitate the spread of non-indigenous species in space and time will enable regulators and industry to implement meaningful approaches to prevention and management of biosecurity risks. This PhD project will assist with the development of a maritime network model for New Zealand, and the use of this model for simulating incursion and response scenarios to facilitate the development of optimised risk mitigation strategies. Enrolment for this fully funded position will be through Deakin University (Melbourne, Australia, at Waurn Ponds campus) but the successful candidate will spend part of his/her time at Cawthron Institute. For more information on this opportunity please contact Dr Eric Treml ( Please attach a CV, names of three referees, and academic transcripts to expressions of interest.COVID-19
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the selection of candidates and commencement of research will be contingent on the lifting of current restrictions on travel and workplace activities presently imposed by the New Zealand and Australian governments. We will keep applicants updated as COVID-19 response activities unfold.
About the host organisations and labs for these PhD projects
Cawthron Institute is New Zealand\ 's largest independent science organisation and has a proven national and international reputation for enterprise, innovation and excellence in science. Based in Nelson, New Zealand, we employ more than 270 highly qualified scientists and technical experts from more than 25 different countries. Our Biosecurity Team undertakes ecological experiments, molecular tool development, antifouling research, risk assessment modelling and social science to underpin the understanding and management of risks marine pests and diseases pose to New Zealand and international regions.
Deakin University, with almost 62 000 students, is one of Australia?s largest universities, ranked in the top 1% of the world?s universities (ARWU 2018) and is ranked 29 in the QS ranking of the world\ 's top universities under 50 years old. Research at Deakin focusses on innovation and robust partnerships with industry, and it is building a formidable international reputation in areas of emerging national social, economic and political priority. The School of Life and Environmental Sciences is the largest of four schools in the Science Faculty, and its multidisciplinary nature is underpinned by a cluster of foundation disciplines comprising biology, chemistry, ecology, biomedical and earth science. Our state-of-the-art marine lab at Queenscliff, Victoria, and experimental and computational infrastructure gives our students and staff unprecedented access to challenging marine science, both domestically and abroad.
Macquarie University ranks among the top 1% of universities in the world and holds a 5-star QS rating that recognises the employability of our graduates. We offer a campus in one of the largest business and technology precincts in the Southern Hemisphere as well as state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure, including the most high-tech university library in Australia. We also partner with the Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences, which hosts the Living Seawalls project as well as other world-leading conservation initiatives.

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Phd Positions In Marine Ecology, Biosecurity And Network Modelling

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