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Research Projects Available

PhD studentship University of Exeter

Fully-funded PhD studentship to study the physiology and behaviour of lumpfish. This project will specifically address how water chemistry (and elevated CO2 in particular) affects the production of lumpfish in aquaculture. Lumpfish are used for the biological control of sea lice for salmon farming.

More information

Applications close 11/6/2018


Environmental Physiology at the University of Western Australia

PhD Projects:

  • Regulation of insensible evaporative water loss in birds or mammals
    This project investigates how and why the insensible water loss of birds and mammals is regulated rather than being passively determined by ambient temperature and humidity. You will evaluate whether this capacity is an adaptation to environmental aridity or a fundamental component of the thermoregulatory control system for a range of species, either parrots or dasyurid marsupials.
  • Physiology and biophysics of gas exchange by awake and aestivating snails
    This project investigates the oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapour exchange of pulmonate terrestrial snails during activity, rest and aestivation. The mantle and epiphragm of aestivating snails are critical barriers to gas exchange but the biophysics of diffusional exchange across these high resistance membrane surfaces is poorly understood, especially at the extremes of activity and metabolic depression.
  • Metabolic physiology of dormant and resting seeds
    Seeds are capable of extended metabolic depression, but there are few actual measurements of metabolic rate for resting or dormant seeds. This project investigates the metabolic rate of resting and dormant seeds, using both indirect calorimetry (oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production) and direct calorimetry (heat production).

Honours Projects:

  • Regulation of insensible evaporative water loss in a bird or mammal
  • Physiology and biophysics of gas exchange by aestivating snails
  • Allometry of metabolic physiology for resting seeds by direct calorimetry
  • Coevolution of wing loading, aspect ratio and foraging strategy for Western Australian bats
  • Phylogenetically-informed analysis of contrasting body weight patterns in carnivorous and nectarivorous marsupials

For further information, contact Professor Philip Withers, School of Biological Sciences, UWA

Posted May 2018


PhD Scholarship available, Macquarie University, Sydney

Antibiotic resistant bacteria in Australian wildlife

Applications close 17th May 2018

This project will investigate the dissemination of antibiotic resistant bacteria to terrestrial wildlife species. The successful applicant will use molecular and microbiological methodologies to examine the epidemiology of antibiotic resistant bacteria in urban wildlife, specifically possums.

Further information, or contact Dr Michelle Power ( for more information.


PhD opportunities at Macquarie University, Sydney, in Behavioural and Physiological Ecology

Two opportunities available for projects supported by the Australian Research Council Discovery Programme:

  • Adapting to a foreign climate: the reproductive ecology of the house sparrow in Australia
  • The challenge of growing in a hot climate (zebra finch)

To apply contact Prof. Simon Griffith, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia

Posted April 2018


Ecophysiology at Curtin University

PhD projects:

  • Control of evaporative water loss by dasyurid marsupials and Australian parrots: purpose, patterns and mechanisms
  • Physiology and behaviour of red-tailed phascogales in modified environments
  • Physiology and behaviour of short-beaked echidnas

Honours Projects:

  • Control of evaporative water loss by dasyurid marsupials and Australian parrots
  • Physiological and behavioural consequences of autotomy

For more information contact Dr Christine Cooper

Posted April 2018


Opportunity for postgraduate students (Master Research or PhD) in animal physiological and evolutionary ecology at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University


Metabolism, behaviour and environment-dependent fitness of small mammals

Research Leaders:

Dr Christopher Turbill and Dr Paul Rymer, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University

Project Description:

We seek outstanding research students to join our group and lead projects that make use our ongoing artificial selection project, well-equipped physiology and genetics laboratories and outdoor experimental facilities to determine the ecological function and evolutionary drivers of variation in the resting metabolic rate of small mammals. More information.

To Apply:

Interested applicants should send a CV, academic transcript and a brief summary of their research interests to Applications will be assessed as they are received.


Dr Christopher Turbill Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University +61 (0)2 4570 1456

Posted April 2018