Postgraduate research projects

aerial view of young potted plants

Platypus breeding

The platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is one of the world’s most evolutionarily distinct mammals. Mounting evidence of local platypus population declines demands we improve conservation efforts.

Comparative effects of extreme heat on threatened desert mammals

UPDATE: CANDIDATE CHOSEN.This PhD will examine the effects of extreme heat on threatened desert mammals with a particular focus on the comparative effects on species that shelter in hollows (numbats), on the surface (bandicoots) and in burrows (bilbies).

PhD scholarship saving our species - Patch value, viability & resilience

UPDATE: CANDIDATE CHOSEN. This project aims to build the evidence base to support regulatory and investment decisions for conservation of Threatened Ecological Communities and Species.

PhD scholarship – Mechanics of species irruptions

UPDATE: CANDIDATE CHOSEN. The PhD study will investigate the ecology of the plains mouse, origins of this irruption and reasons for the rapid expansion in populations. It will also examine the genetic links to other key populations in South Australia and Queensland.

Conservation ecology of Greater bilby

UPDATE: CANDIDATE CHOSEN. The proposed project will investigate the movement ecology, diet, survival and reproductive success of Greater Bilby in a breeding sanctuary in Dubbo, NSW.

Scientia PhD scholarship - Identifying healthy burning practices

UPDATE: WITHDRAWN. The student will learn field- and lab-based skills such as plant population monitoring, on-ground vegetation surveys, assessment of fire severity and use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for post-fire monitoring.

Scientia PhD scholarship - Ecosystem restoration through rewilding

UPDATE: WITHDRAWN. The Wild Deserts project will bridge the gap between the disciplines of reintroduction biology and restoration ecology by using reintroductions of locally extinct mammals into two, large predator-proof exclosures to restore ecosystems in Sturt National Park.

Platypus population health and dynamics

UPDATE: CANDIDATE CHOSEN. The research project is funded for three years and will investigate the life history, behaviour and population dynamics of the platypus.

Tackling prey naiveté in Australia’s endangered mammals

UPDATE: CANDIDATE CHOSEN. This project will determine if predator training and selective screening of individuals for predator avoidance traits can improve reintroduction success. The results will be used to improve reintroduction protocols for threatened mammals and re-establish populations of endangered wildlife.

Testate amoebae: a new biomarker of climate change and human impact

UPDATE: CANDIDATE CHOSEN. A PhD project is offered to develop testate soil amoebae to provide a new measure of the hydrological status of peatlands through time.

Surface water dynamics as a function of climate and river flow data

UPDATE: CANDIDATE CHOSEN. An exciting opportunity exists for a PhD student interested in integrating spatially explicit data on climate, flow and inundation to model flooded areas as a function of flow using spatially explicit datasets in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Multisensor integration for environmental flows

UPDATE: CANDIDATE CHOSEN. An exciting opportunity exists for a PhD student interested in modelling the response of vegetation to flooding integrating multisensor satellite data (very high resolution multi-/hyperspectral and LiDAR data).

Response of northern Australian mangroves to climatic variability

UPDATE: CANDIDATE CHOSEN. This project seeks to use remote sensing data acquired by airborne (e.g., lidar, aerial photography), spaceborne C- and L-band radar, and optical sensors to quantify decadal changes in the extent, species composition, structure and biomass of mangroves.

PhD Research - improving the resilience of platypus populations

The Platypus Conservation Initiative at the Centre for Ecosystem Science (UNSW) is seeking a passionate student for an exciting and important project in collaboration with Taronga Zoo.