[MARMAM] PhD opportunity in Australia

Daniele Cagnazzi daniele.cagnazzi at scu.edu.au
Tue Oct 12 05:06:50 PDT 2021



The Marine Ecology Research Centre (MERC), Southern Cross University in collaboration with the Cetacean Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution Lab (CEBEL) at Flinders University, South Australia, is seeking a student for one PhD position.
Project summary: We are seeking a PhD student to work on an exciting new project to fill in critical knowledge gaps about the distribution, abundance, and threats to inshore dolphins in the northern Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP), Queensland, Australia. This project is a collaboration between Southern Cross University, Flinders University, Blue Planet Marine, Jabiru Environmental and the Department of Environment and Science. The project will focus on the three inshore dolphins found in waters of the GBRMP the Australian snubfin dolphin, the Australian humpback dolphin and the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to participate in the design and implementation of a large-scale vessel survey in waters across the northern GBRMP in 2022 to collect data on inshore dolphin distribution and abundance in this region. The PhD project will involve working with distance sampling and spatial distribution modelling techniques to develop density models of all three species. The density models will be used to produce abundance estimates, to develop spatial distribution and habitat suitability models and assess threats to tropical inshore dolphins across the northern GBRMP. Potential exists for data collected during the large-scale survey to be integrated with available data across the entire GBRMP to further develop spatial distribution models and threat assessment for the entire region.
About MERC and CEBEL: This PhD project will be based at The Marine Ecology Research Centre (MERC), Southern Cross University, New South Wales, Australia. You will be supervised by Dr Daniele Cagnazzi and co-supervised by Associate Professors Guido J. Parra from the Cetacean Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution Lab (CEBEL) at Flinders University. MERC is a multidisciplinary research group that builds on the internationally recognised marine research of the Coral Reef Research Group and the Whale Research Group at Southern Cross University. CEBEL at Flinders University is a multi-disciplinary group working at the interface of animal behaviour, population ecology and evolutionary biology. Since its establishment in 2010, CEBEL has grown into one of the leading and most productive groups of marine mammal research in Australia.
Applicants Qualifications: Candidates must have completed an Australian bachelor’s degree with First Class Honours (H1)or high 2A (or equivalent) in biology, animal behaviour, ecology, statistics, or a related field. The successful candidate will have a strong working knowledge of wildlife and/or marine ecology, excellent verbal and written communication skills, and strong quantitative and programming skills including but not limited to R programming language. We are interested in attracting creative, pro-active, highly motivated, independent and team player minded students who will integrate well in the lab. It is expected that the successful candidate will liaise and collaborate with local researchers, leading statistical ecologists, and stakeholders to ensure maximum applicability and utility of the research findings.
Application Instructions:
Application is open to Australian citizens; or permanent residents of Australia or New Zealand citizens and international student (pending travel restrictions).
To apply for this PhD position, the applicant should send the following documents to Daniele Cagnazzi by email (daniele.cagnazzi at scu.edu.au):

  *   A cover letter or statement of purpose highlighting what motivates your research, your short and long-term career goals, and which component of the project interests you most.
  *   A curriculum vitae / resume that outlines your academic and professional experience.
  *   A sample of your writing. This could be either a copy of your honours thesis, MSc thesis, or a peer review publication.
  *   Copies of your academic transcript as well as your undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA).
  *   Names and email addresses of 2 references.

Application deadline is October 30, 2021. We will review applications and contact the top candidates to set up a time to chat by Microsoft Teams/Zoom. The selected student will receive a scholarship equivalent to an Australian Government Research Training Program Domestic Stipend Scholarship, which pays an indexed stipend of $28,597 p.a. tax free (2021 rate). The successful, candidate is expected to start in February 2022.

For more information, please contact Daniele Cagnazzi (gdaniele.cagnazzi at scu.edu.au).


Daniele Cagnazzi

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

School of Environment Science and Engineering

SCU Institute for Development, Environment and Sustainability (IDEAS)

Marine Ecology Research Centre



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