Supervisors: Associate Prof. Katherine Moseby (UNSW), Dr Zenon Czenze (UNE), Prof. Mike Kearney (UNIMELB)

Institution: Centre for Ecosystem Science, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UNSW Sydney

The project: A PhD opportunity is available for an independent and self-motivated postgraduate student with a 1st Class Honours degree in Biological Sciences.

Heat waves are becoming increasingly common and more intense in Australia’s deserts under climate change. 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). The project will be conducted at a number of desert field sites and will include trapping and radiotracking animals to collect behavioural, physical and physiological measures that will inform ecophysiological models for predicting heat impacts. The project may also investigate phenotypic plasticity of heat-related traits for some species across their broader range. Results will be used to design and apply mitigation techniques for reducing heat impacts on threatened mammals. Applicants need to be prepared for extended periods working in remote deserts under hot field conditions.

The project is a collaboration between the Centre for Ecosystem Science (CES) and the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney (Assoc Prof Katherine Moseby), University of New England (Dr Zenon Czenze) and the University of Melbourne (Prof Mike Kearney). Inquiries should be sent to Katherine Moseby at