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PhD project - Ecological restoration mammals and birds in Tasmania

Job Type: full-time temporary position

Location: Tasmania

Posting Date: 23 Jan 14

Closing Date: 24 Apr 14

The project: Restoring resilience in wildlife populations
The temperate woodlands of southern Australia have seen significant declines in vertebrate wildlife, even where vegetation appears to be in good condition. In the Midlands Biodiversity Hotspot in Tasmania, vertebrate biodiversity is threatened by agricultural intensification, continued ecological simplification and disruption, including an increase in feral cats following the catastrophic decline of the native top predator, the Tasmanian devil. The species most threatened by these changes include (i) several critical-weight-range mammals (quolls, bandicoots and bettongs) that have disappeared from mainland Australia under the impact of invasive predators, and (ii) one of Tasmania’s most diverse assemblages of woodland birds. The aim of the project is to create an animal-centric approach to habitat restoration for vertebrate wildlife, based on a deep understanding of ecological process, as opposed to conventional approaches based on ecological pattern. This new understanding of risk-sensitive foraging decisions by individual animals (process) will lead to the development of more realistic landscape restoration, comprising patterns of wildlife presence, gene flow and habitat at landscape scales in predictive models.

Skills required: These are field-based studies with a strong statistical component. Selection of applicants will be based on merit.

Project funding: These projects are part of an ARC Linkage project “Restoring resilience in wildlife populations” by Menna Jones, Chris Johnson, Chris Burridge and Neil Davidson (Greening Australia).

Supervisors: Dr Menna Jones and Prof Chris Johnson (University of Tasmania).

Scholarships: applicants will need to apply for a scholarship
Domestic students (Australia and New Zealand) can apply for an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) through the University of Tasmania worth $24,653, with merit-based schemes available for top-ups.
International students: UTAS offers a number of schemes by which international students can obtain a scholarship; some offer assistance with tuition fees. Prospective candidates are also encouraged to seek scholarship schemes from their own country.

The University of Tasmania provides a free laptop to all PhD students and funding schemes for international conference attendance during the PhD.


Contact Information:

Please send an email to Dr Jennifer Sprent with a statement of your background and interest in the project, your Curriculum Vitae, and a copy of your undergraduate academic transcripts.
Email:; Phone: +61 0439 591262

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