Oyster reefs, once abundant along the east Australian coastline and an important source of food and trade for Indigenous Australians, are now functionally extinct (<1% remaining) because of years of over harvesting, habitat modification, pollution, sedimentation, and disease. 

Global climate change in the form of ocean warming and acidification is now further threatening these ecologically, economically, and culturally important oysters. As vital ecosystem engineers, oysters form a global industry valued at close to $7 billion annually. For Indigenous Australians, oysters provide a cultural link to their traditional lands. This project, funded by the Australian Research Council, addresses how to restore oyster reefs in the face of climate change using selective breeding techniques. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work in collaboration with the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the Traditional Owners of the Pumicestone Passage.


  • Dr Laura Parker, Professor Pauline Ross (University of Sydney)
  • Dr Wayne O’Connor (NSW Department of Primary Industries)

Ideal candidate:

The ideal candidate will have a strong academic background with Honours Class I or equivalent in marine biology, ecology or environmental science and excellent written and oral communication skills. The project requires experience in the design and implementation of laboratory and/or field experiments on marine organisms. Willingness to work independently and as part of a team is essential. The candidate should have a strong interest in marine molluscs and climate change.


On request