Applications for this PhD have now closed.
Location University of Western Australia, School of Biological Sciences
App. deadline 31/03/2017
  • Scholarship available
Eligibility Open to international applicants

Modelling the conservation of wide-ranging species

An exciting opportunity has arisen to undertake a PhD that will contribute towards the conservation of wide-ranging species in one of the world's biodiversity hotspots. This PhD is part of a larger project involving staff from the University of Western Australia, Alcoa of Australia, Department of Parks and Wildlife and the Western Australian Museum. The project, funded by the Australia Research Council, Alcoa World Alumina Australia and Department of Parks and Wildlife, aims to develop methods to better integrate conservation with anthropogenic activities across the whole landscape in a drying climate. We are seeking a motivated candidate to undertake a PhD that will use data on the spatial distribution of critical resources for Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos to model the best trade-offs between conservation outcomes and a range of anthropogenic land uses. Critically, this will include modelling of how the location of cockatoo drink sites might influence these trade-offs. While most of the data have already been collected, we would envisage that the candidate would undertake, or assist with, some fieldwork to better understand the cockatoo's ecology, the landscapes and land uses modelled. The fieldwork would be conducted in a variety of landscapes in the northern jarrah forest ranging from 35km SE to 120km SSE of Perth, Western Australia.

We are looked for a candidate interested in both quantitative and qualitative research design, methodology and analysis, an ability to work both independently and as part of a team and a desire to interact and collaborate with both government departments and private industries. Most of all we are seeking people with a passion for conserving our unique fauna and an interest in finding novel methods of achieving effective conservation outcomes in multiple-use landscapes. To apply for the scholarship ($29 000/year for 3 years plus $1500/year research funding) please send a cover letter outlining why you want to do this PhD and your suitability for the position, a CV with the names and details of two academic referees and a document addressing the following selection criteria to Enquiries about the position should be addressed to Dr. Mike Craig either by email at or by phone on (08) 6488 1073. Applications will be open until 31st March 2017 or until a suitable applicant is found. We prefer applicants that would be available to start the position by 31st May 2017, although this is negotiable. This scholarship is open to Australian and international citizens although international citizens (except those from New Zealand) will need to either pay full fees or apply for a fee-waiver scholarship (SIRF).

Selection Criteria - Essential
1. Completion of 1st-class or upper 2A honours or a Master of Science (MSc) or equivalent.
2. Experience and skills in quantitative modelling of real world systems
3. Willingness to engage with external stakeholders, such as private companies and government departments, and effectively present scientific research results to this audience
4. Excellent interpersonal and oral communication skills
5. Willingness to work as part of a large interdisciplinary team and achieve outcomes through a combination of planning, working independently, and collaborating with other team members

Selection Criteria - Desirable
1. Experience in undertaking field-based vertebrate research
2. Experience in modelling spatial and/or ecological data and familiarity with modelling software
3. Experience in surveying literature and working with experts to define key ecological research questions then designing and implementing models to address such questions
Experience in analysing, validating and interpreting model outputs
4. Experience in calibrating models based on available knowledge and data
5. Experience in writing scientific reports and publishing in the peer-reviewed literature
6. A current A-class driver's license

Please Note: Should this listing mention details of an available scholarship, it is your responsibility to confirm the specifics with the university / institute prior to applyiing. Terms and conditions are in some cases subject to change and are not always reflected immediately within listings.

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Further Information / Application Enquiries

Dr Michael Craig
+61 8 6488 1073