PhD Opportunity (U. Melb)

Biology and optics of the near-infrared

PhD Project Commencing 2018 The Stuart-Fox lab is seeking a PhD student to join an interdisciplinary project involving thermal adaptations, colour, near-infrared reflectance properties, and nano-structures in beetles. The project is funded by the Hermon Slade Foundation and the University of Melbourne. We are particularly keen to recruit students with a background or interest in the interface between biology and optical physics. Project description Animals have evolved remarkable and unique ways of controlling light (e.g. fluorescence, iridescence). Until now, biologists have focused almost exclusively on how ultraviolet (UV) and human-visible wavelengths are manipulated to produce the diversity of colours... [Read More]


ASSAB 2017 (Melbourne, Jul 19-22)

Registration is open for the Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour’s conference in July 2017! See the society website for full details. The early-bird deadline is 21 April, and is all-inclusive of registration, on-site accommodation, and food. Look forward to seeing you! ASSAB 2017 Date: Wed 19th July to Saturday 22nd July. Venue: Foothills Conference Centre, Melbourne, Victoria. [Read More]

Volunteer Opportunities

Emu mating systems (Western Sydney University)

As part of a project on the mating system of the emu, Julia Ryeland from the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment is calling for volunteers to assist in three separate aspects of the project. A brief description of each aspect is detailed on the attached flyers, as well as details of how you can be involved. Please feel free to further advertise this to whomever you think may be interested, and don’t hesitate to email (Julia.Ryeland[at] if you have any further questions. Position 1: Emu population counts Position 2: Emu tracking Position 3: Emu handling... [Read More]

Postdoctoral Opportunity

Mitochondrial genetic variation and life-history evolution (Dowling Lab, Monash Uni.)

Research in Damian Dowling’s laboratory is focused on the role the mitochondrial genome plays in evolutionary adaptation and in the evolution of sex differences. Maternal inheritance of the mitochondrial genome renders the mitochondrial DNA vulnerable to the accumulation of mutations that are harmful to males, but neutral or beneficial to females. We seek a talented and highly-motivated postdoctoral researcher to join our laboratory group, to study the contribution that mitochondrial genetic variation makes to mediating sex-specific trajectories of life-history evolution. The project will integrate experimental techniques in evolutionary ecology, genomics and evolutionary physiology. The closing date for applications is... [Read More]

PhD Opportunities

Sexual performance & nutrigenomics in the Queensland fruit-fly (Macquarie U. & CSIRO)

Two exciting PhD scholarships are available to work on either sexual performance and competitiveness or nutrigenomics in the Queensland fruitfly, in collaboration with Prof. Phil Taylor (Macquarie University), Dr. John Oakeshott (CSIRO), and Dr. Ronald Lee (MU/CSIRO). Expressions of interest close early January, 2017. See the associated flyers for the sexual performance and nutrigenomics positions for full details. [Read More]

Taming the BEAST

Phylogenetics summer school & annual NZ Phylogenomics meeting (U. Auckland)

Phylogenetics and phylodynamics are central topics in modern biology. Phylogenetic inferences reconstruct the evolutionary relationships between organisms, whereas phylodynamic inferences reveal the dynamics that lead to the observed relationships. These two fields have many practical applications in disciplines such as epidemiology, developmental biology, paleontology, ecology and even linguistics. However phylogenetics and phylodynamics are complex and fast-evolving fields. As such, inference tools are not easily accessible to researchers who are not from a computational background. Taming the BEAST in the South Pacific is a week-long summer school to be held on scenic Waiheke Island, Auckland, New Zealand and organised by the... [Read More]

PhD Opportunity

Evolutionary dynamics in a globally significant Eucalyptus lineage (U. TAS)

An exciting opportunity exists for a highly motivated student to join biologists and mathematicians at UTAS to tease apart the different processes that contribute to the complex evolutionary dynamics of Australia’s iconic eucalypts. Our recent research into the phylogenetic relationships among eucalypts, using genome-wide markers and multiple geographically widespread samples, has revealed numerous puzzling discrepancies, most likely due to recent radiation, incomplete lineage sorting of given genomic markers, and/or reticulate (non-tree-like) evolution. However, these evolutionary processes are difficult to distinguish, and the relative contribution of each is likely to vary across the continent and among groups of species. This... [Read More]

PhD Opportunities

Behavioural evolution (MQ)

Exciting opportunities to participate in research aimed at discovering unconventional routes to adaptation We seek up to three highly motivated PhD students to join a research program focused on the causal dynamics of behavioural evolution. Fully-sponsored opportunities exist for domestic Australian and international candidates in the context of two broader projects: Thermal preference across life stages in the Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni) In Australia, the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) has recently been engaged to control the horticultural pest Bactrocera tryoni (Queensland fruit fly or “Q-fly”). SIT offers a sustainable control measure provided that released (sterile) stock are viable and... [Read More]

PhD Opportunity

Mechanisms of colour production and evolution of animal signals (U Melb)

We are seeking a PhD student to work on an ARC-funded project starting in 2017, investigating how stress affects both pigment deposition and nano-structures of cells and tissues which together produce colour. The mechanisms underlying colour production have fundamental implications for the costs and constraints on colour signals. This project will investigate how diverse colours are produced in reptiles and the information these colours convey about individual health, condition and performance. This PhD project provides opportunity to develop a broad range of skills including electron microscopy, pigment biochemistry, endocrinology, optical modelling, and experience working on lizards in the field and... [Read More]

PhD Opportunity

The genetics of species differentiation and hybridisation in Eucalyptus (U TAS)

An exciting opportunity is available for a highly motivated student to join the Eucalypt Genetics Group at UTAS in a new project that uses state-of-the-art genomic technologies to characterise genomic regions important for speciation and adaptation in Australia’s iconic eucalypts. The project will investigate the importance of hybridisation between species, especially during range expansion and contraction. Up to $30,000 in running costs will be funded by a recently awarded ARC Discovery Grant. A major international effort has recently seen a eucalypt become the second forest tree genome sequenced. The PhD project links the expanding international knowledge on the eucalypt... [Read More]

PhD Opportunity

Antarctic mosses (ANU)

A motivated student is sought for an exciting PhD project on Antarctic mosses. The project will use genetic techniques (exon capture) to look at the evolutionary history of mosses in Antarctica, including whether volcanoes allowed them to survive past ice ages on the icy continent, and whether they can effectively disperse long distances. Some field work in Antarctica may be possible as part of this project, but many samples are already available, ensuring initial results can be obtained rapidly regardless of field opportunities. The student should have a background in biology, an interest in Antarctic science, and first-class Honours or... [Read More]

PhD Opportunities

Fruit Fly Sexual Performance (Macquarie University)

Three PhD opportunities are available on projects investigating pre-and post-copulatory sexual performance of Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni, aka ‘Qfly’). Each of these projects is part of a significant collaboration between Macquarie University’s Department of Biological Sciences and Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Projects include: Polyandry and paternity patterns, Mediation of mating-induced sexual inhibition Genetics and genomics of reproductive fitness Enquiries are welcome, and interested applicants are encouraged to make initial informal contact before applying. Interested applicants should email a letter of interest, academic transcripts, curriculum vitae and the names and contact information of three... [Read More]

ASSAB Conference

Early-bird registration & travel grants closing soon

Early-bird registration for the Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour’s (ASSAB) 2016 conference is closing this Friday the 6th of May. It’s being held at the Carrington Hotel, Katoomba from July 5-8, and promises to be an excellent event, so get in quick! Full details can be found here. Applications for the student research grants close June 6, with the winners announced at the conference. See here for further information. [Read More]

PhD Scholarship

The evolution of plasticity during a biological invasion (Deakin University)

A PhD scholarship on invasion ecology is available in the Rollins lab in the Centre for Integrative Ecology at Deakin University. Project: Organisms can deal with novel challenges by changing their phenotype in response to environmental cues (plasticity) and/or by longer-term changes in gene frequencies within a population (adaption). Plasticity itself can be adaptive; so how does it evolve? Invasive species offer a unique opportunity to answer that question, because a founding population (with typically modest genetic variation) must deal with novel challenges in its new environment. Using the cane toad invasion in Australia as our model system,... [Read More]

Volunteer Field Assistant Sought

Fairy-wrens in south-west WA

I am looking for dedicated field assistants to help monitor a population of red-winged fairy-wrens in south-west Australia from 10 October 2016 to 16 January 2017 as part of an on-going study on cooperation and competition. The study is based at Smithbrook Nature Reserve in one of the 35 biodiversity hotspots of the world! Duties include searching for nests, monitoring colour-ringed birds, behavioural observations, mist netting and data entry. Working days are long, start early and consist of lots of hiking through dense forest with occasional encounters with venomous snakes. Applicants must be physically fit and have outstanding hearing and... [Read More]

Upcoming Course

Introduction to linear mixed effects models and GLMM with R

Deakin University (Burwood Campus, Melbourne) are hosting a statistics course entitled “Introduction to Linear Mixed Effects Models and GLMM with R: Bayesian and frequentist approaches”. It will be lead by Dr. Alain Zuur & and Dr. Elena Ieno, and will run from the 4 - 8 July, 2016. The course starts with a basic introduction to linear mixed effects models, followed by an introduction to Bayesian statistics, MCMC and generalised linear mixed effects models (GLMM) to analyse nested (also called hierarchical or clustered) data, e.g. multiple observations from the same animal, site, area, nest, patient, hospital, vessel, lake, hive,... [Read More]

PhD Scholarship

Agriculture on Christmas Island

An opportunity is available for an energetic PhD student to participate in the Australian Research Council funded Project: Transition from phosphate mining to an economically, environmentally and socially viable agricultural industry on Christmas Island (LP140100690). The student will work under the supervision of Professors Giles Hardy, Jen McComb, Graham O’Hara and John Howieson, in the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences at Murdoch University. Whilst the project is Murdoch-based, travel to Christmas Island will take place on a regular basis. Scholarship: Domestic students will receive a tax free stipend of $25,849 per annum. Additional funding is available for project costs... [Read More]


Research fellow in plant ecological genetics

The Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University is seeking to appoint an energetic academic to a Level A position within the Plant, Animal, and Interactions theme. This 3-year, full-time, postdoctoral fellowship will focus on research related to understanding the capacity of trees to respond to climate change, and determining the importance of genetic adaptation and phenotypic plasticity. The successful applicant will lead the molecular analyses from experimental design to bioinformatic and population genomic analyses. Molecular analyses will be linked to plant trait, growth and physiological responses of genotypes grown under contrasting rainfall environments in provenance trials in... [Read More]

PhD Scholarship

Evolution of exaggerated male weaponry in harvestmen

School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand Supervisor: Dr Greg Holwell $27,000 NZD per year for 3 years. I invite suitably motivated and dedicated applicants to apply for a fully funded PhD scholarship to work on the evolution of extreme male weaponry in New Zealand harvestmen (Opiliones). Males from the genera Pantopsalis and Forsteropsalis possess among the most exaggerated weapons in the animal kingdom. Their chelicerae can comprise 50% of their body weight and in some species are polymorphic with males displaying either elongated or short broad forms within the same population. The specific details of the student’s... [Read More]