Location University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Science
App. deadline 01/04/2018
  • Scholarship available
Project ID JS1
Eligibility Australian and New Zealand residents

Elucidating the microbiological and molecular drivers of Pacific Oyster mortality episodes

In recent years, the global oyster aquaculture industry has been significantly adversely affected by oyster mortality which has led to millions of dollars in lost revenue. The Australian oyster industry has also suffered from considerable losses due to disease including Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS). The etiology of Pacific oyster diseases is complex and often poorly defined, with multiple microbiological agents including the OSHV-1 virus and a number of species of bacteria implicated in episodic mortality events.

The goal of this project will be to combine field-based studies and laboratory-based pathogen-challenge experiments to resolve the identity and molecular characteristics of the microorganisms involved in POMS.  The project will involve the use of molecular microbial ecology approaches (e.g. 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing and transcriptomics) in conjunction with molecular biological and genetic approaches (including gene knock-out studies) to identify putative oyster pathogens and characterise their modes of virulence. The outcomes of this project will be relevant within the context of both (i) the microbial ecology of disease in aquatic organisms and (ii) the application of cutting-edge scientific approaches to solve production-limiting hindrances to the aquaculture industry.

Additional supervision will be provided Associate Professor Maurizio Labbate (UTS) and Dr Cheryl Jenkins (DPI).

Desirable skills and qualifications:
• A demonstrated understanding of concepts in molecular microbial ecology
• Drivers licence

This is an Ausgem-funded research project.

The successful candidate will be awarded $26,682 per annum over 3.5 years. To apply, please send your CV and a ½ page expression of interest.

New Zealand graduates are considered as domestic students and are exempt from international student fees.

Applicants are required to have the equivalent of a BSc Honours or Masters by Research degree and must also apply for admission to UTS' PhD degree program.

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Further Information / Application Enquiries

A/Prof Justin Seymour

A/Prof Maurizio Labbate