Postgraduate Project opportunities

research project National Marine Science Centre Post graduate research students on the National Marine Science Centre's boat the R.V. Circe, carrying out research with video pods

Two fully-funded PhD scholarships are available

Impacts of climate change and adaptation options for fisheries species and key marine habitats

Climate change is impacting marine species and ecosystems globally including shifting species distributions, phenology, physiology and interactions. Such changes pose significant threats to marine ecosystems and present challenges and opportunities for the resource-dependent industries they support. This is particularly true for eastern Australia, where ocean warming is occurring at a rate that is approximately four times faster than the global average.

Two PhD scholarships are available based at the National Marine Science Centre, Coffs Harbour, Australia. The projects will be supervised jointly between NSW Fisheries and Southern Cross University.

Project 1: Assessing the sensitivity of fishery species to climate change

This project will assess the sensitivity, health and nutritional properties of key fishery species to varying environmental conditions using multifactor mesocosm experiments. This information will inform predictive species distribution modelling, industry vulnerability and the emergence of novel fisheries as adaptation options.

Project 2: Assessing vulnerability of key marine habitats to climate change

Kelp forests are foundation species underpinning vast ecological and economic value, yet are declining due to climate and anthropogenic change. This project will examine climate impacts on kelp through multifactor culturing experiments on selected genotypes. Results will feed into species distribution modelling to predict future kelp distribution and persistence.

Projects are associated with a full student scholarship at the RTP rate ($27,000 per year) and operational funding. Students will be expected to apply for competitive grants to increase the amount of operational budget available to them. Domestic applicants should have a First Class Honours and international applicants should have a Masters by Research. Previous journal publications are desirable.

Interested applicants should email their CV, academic transcript and a short (max. 1 page) letter outlining their suitability and interest in the project to Dr Melinda Coleman