Delegates at ASSAB 2014 conference, Katoomba

Delegates at ASSAB 2014 conference, Katoomba


ASSAB Student Research Grants for 2015 are open



Faculty Positions

Fixed term full-time Postdoctoral position (Level A), School of BioSciences (Faculty of Science), University of Melbourne [May 21, 2015]

The Research Fellow will be responsible for designing, executing, and analysing field and laboratory experiments, as part of the research project “The dark side of night: species and community impacts of night lighting”, which is funded by an ARC Discovery grant.

The research is part of an international collaboration between the University of Melbourne (Dr Therésa Jones and Prof Mark Elgar), the University of Exeter (Prof Kevin Gaston) and the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (Prof Marcel Visser).

The position is located at The University of Melbourne and reports to the Chief Investigator.

Salary: $64,863* – $88,016 p.a. (*PhD entry Level $81,998 p.a.) plus 9.5% superannuation

Contact: Dr Therésa Jones, Senior Lecturer – The Behaviour and Evolution Group, The School of BioSciences, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia. Tel: +61 (0)3 90359576


Graduate Positions

Two PhD Positions, Evolutionary Dynamics of Biological Invasions, Monash University and Melbourne University [October 7, 2015]

Matt Hall (Monash) and Ben Phillips (Melbourne) are seeking a PhD candidate to do a lab-based study investigating the evolutionary dynamics of biological invasions.  The deadline for APA applications is 31st October, so interested candidates should get in contact with them ASAP. More information can be found here

PhD scholarships, Macquarie University [October 3, 2015]
PhD scholarships are available to study Q-flies on the following two projects.
1. Physiology and genetics of fitness in Queensland fruit flies

2. Mediation of mating-induced sexual inhibition of female Queensland fruit flies

Expressions of interest including CV and academic transcripts should be directed to A/Prof Phil Taylor at Phil.Taylor@mq.edu.au before 16 October 2015.

PhD Scholarship, Evolutionary Ecology of Environmental Change research group, Monash University [July 29, 2015]

David Chapple is looking to take on 2 new PhD students in 2016 in his research group at Monash University, Australia. The full details are attached.

Dave’s Evolutionary Ecology of Environmental Change research group uses field studies, field- and lab-based experiments, comparative analyses, morphological analyses and molecular approaches to examine the impact of past, current, and future environmental change on phenotype, life- history and distribution. They use squamate reptiles as model systems.

Get in touch with David (david.chapple@monash.edu) directly if you are interested.
Dr David Chapple
Senior Lecturer in Evolutionary Ecology, School of Biological Sciences (25 Rainforest Walk), Monash University, Clayton VIC 3800, Australia
Ph: +61-3-9905 3015; Fax: +61-3-9905 5613

PhD position, Effect of paternal age on transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, University of Otago  [July 29, 2015]

Dr. Sheri Johnson in the Zoology Department at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand is seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic student to investigate whether environmental challenges experienced as males age affect the fitness of multiple generations, and to identify key candidate genes for transgenerational effects. This work will use a vertebrate model, the zebrafish (Danio rerio), and involves extensive experimental work manipulating environmental stressors (e.g. toxins, hypoxia), behavioural and life-history phenotyping, breeding the lines through to obtain multigenerational data, and the generation and analysis of next-generation sequence data. This work involves an exciting multidisciplinary team, involving two collaborators from Otago (Prof Neil Gemmell and Dr Tim Hore in the Department of Anatomy), a collaborator at the University of New South Wales (Associate Prof Shinichi Nakagawa) and a collaborator from Uppsala University (Associate Prof Simone Immler).

Selection criteria: We seek a student with a strong academic record, a keen interest in behavioural ecology, appropriate practical and technical experience, and a demonstrated ability in written and oral communication.

Application/scholarship details: If you are interested in joining our exciting project at Otago, please send an e-mail with an expression of interest, why you are interested in joining the lab, and your CV to Sheri Johnson (sheri.johnson@otago.ac.nz). High quality applicants will apply for an Otago PhD scholarship, which covers tuition and provides a stipend ($25000 NZD/year).

For information on PhD study at the University of Otago, including entry requirements, see: http://www.otago.ac.nz/postgraduate/index.html. For information on the Department of Zoology, see: http://www.otago.ac.nz/zoology.

PhD Positions, Developing toad-smart quolls, University of Melbourne and University of Technology Sydney [July 23, 2015]

Two PhD positions are available at the University of Melbourne and the University of Technology Sydney to work on an Australian Research Council funded project that aims to prevent and reverse population declines of the critically endangered northern quoll. Northern quolls are on the brink of extinction due to the spread of toxic cane toads, and this project will field test novel methods to prevent the quoll’s extinction. Two projects are currently available. The first project will involve working closely with collaborators from the Australian Wildlife Conservancy to field test the application of taste aversion baits to prevent the extinction of northern quolls at Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary, in Western Australia. The second project will involve working with staff from the Territory Wildlife Park and traditional owners and staff from Kakadu National Park to evaluate the effectiveness of reintroducing ‘toad smart’ quolls to Kakadu. The successful candidates will work closely with supervisors and collaborators and will learn a diverse range of skills in wildlife ecology. This project provides an unparalleled opportunity to make a difference and prevent the extinction of one of Australia’s most iconic predators.

Candidates must be eligible for an Australian Postgraduate Award at either University of Melbourne or University of Technology Sydney (including an MSc or Honours degree in wildlife ecology, behavioural ecology, conservation biology, zoology, or a related discipline). Candidates will require a high degree of motivation, ability to do field work in hot climates, good people-skills, and an ability to work as part of a research team.  The PhD candidate will be eligible for a $5k top-up scholarship upon acceptance of their first PhD publication.

To apply, please email the following: 1) a brief letter describing credentials and professional goals; 2) your CV; 3) names and contact information of three references; and 4) copies of university transcripts.

Dr Ben Phillips, phillipsb@unimelb.edu.au, University of Melbourne.

Dr Jonathan Webb, jonathan.webb@uts.edu.au, University of Technology Sydney.


PhD scholarship in Applied Animal Behaviour/Acoustics & Signal Processing, University of Canterbury, NZ [June 30, 2015]

A PhD scholarship in the area of Applied Animal Behaviour is available at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Canterbury (Christchurch, New Zealand). The candidate would participate in a project developing acoustic methods to develop insect detection and classification techniques through signal processing to improve border biosecurity and mitigate biological invasions. This project, which aims to begin in July 2015 (or as soon as possible), will be conducted as a partnership between Dr Ximena Nelson from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Canterbury, Dr Michael Hayes from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Canterbury, and Drs Eckehard Brockerhoff and Stephen Pawson, from Scion, the New Zealand Forest Research Institute.

All applicants must be technologically able and should have completed a Master’s degree or equivalent (with a substantial thesis component) in a relevant discipline. Candidates with experience working with acoustics and signal processing, preferably with a strong biological background, will be particularly welcome. The award stipend is $26,500 (New Zealand dollars) per annum, and tuition fees are covered. Tenure is 3.5 years full-time, subject to satisfactory progress. Because New Zealand PhDs do not include coursework this is sufficient time within which to complete the degree.

For further information contact eckehard.brockerhoff@scionresearch.com,  michael.hayes@canterbury.ac.nz,  or ximena.nelson@canterbury.ac.nz.

Dr Ximena Nelson, Senior Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. Ph: 64 3 3642987 x 4050. Fax: 64 3 364 2590. http://www.biol.canterbury.ac.nz/people/nelson.shtmlhttp://ximenanelson.weebly.com/index.html

Expression of Interest for PhD project – Honey bee Resilience, Macquarie University, Sydney [June 24, 2015]

Expressions of interest are invited from Australian domestic or international postgraduate students wishing to undertake research and study towards a PhD in the area of honey bee resilience. The project will involve field analysis of the impact of controlled pesticide and pathogen stressors on honey bee colony growth and development, modeling of colony performance, and research towards identification of the best methods to monitor colony health and most effective field interventions to boost colony populations.

The project is a collaboration between Dr William G. Meikle at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Dr Andrew B. Barron at Macquarie University, Sydney.  The research program is funded jointly by the USDA and Macquarie University.  The successful application would be enrolled in a PhD program through Macquarie University, but should expect to make several research visits to the USDA laboratories in Tucson, Arizona.

The successful candidate would receive an IMQRES scholarship from Macquarie University.  This covers the costs of all tuition, and provides a living stipend for three years.  In 2014 the 2014 MQRES full-time stipend rate was $25,392 AUD pa tax exempt for 3 years.

Prospective PhD applicants should have completed the equivalent of Macquarie University’s Master of Research (MRes) degree, MPhil or other 2 year Masters degree with a major research component with excellent results. Refer to the HDR Entry Criteria for more information about this.

To be eligible for a PhD scholarship applicants would be expected to have a record of excellent academic performance, especially in the research Masters degree, and additional relevant research experience and/or peer-reviewed research activity, awards and/or prizes in line with the University’s scholarship rating guidelines. Refer to the HDR Scholarship Requirements for more information about this

To lodge an expression of interest applicants should email Andrew Barron: Andrew.Barron@mq.edu.au attaching an academic CV and the details of two referees.

Field Assistant Positions

Volunteer internship: feral cats on a New Zealand offshore island

I am looking for an intern to start in August/September 2015 to commit to 6 months on a feral cat project. The project is looking at feral cat ecology and movement, and their impact on kiwi and other native wildlife. The internship is a great chance to gain experience in different monitoring techniques with different animals.

Duties include:

  • Using telemetry to locate feral cats.
  • Setting up camera traps, collecting the footage and sorting it. The footage is analysed for feral cat and kiwi videos.
  • Live rat trapping.
  • Distance sampling to estimate bird density.
  • Collecting invertebrate pitfalls.
  • Analysing cat scat in the lab.

Time will be split between the lab/office and the field; 2 weeks in each place per month. There will be the opportunity to participate in kiwi work as well. Duties include a mixture of day and night work. The position is unpaid, but travel costs to the field, and food and accommodation in the field will be paid for. The rest of the expenses will need to be covered by the intern. The candidate must be fit as we work on hilly terrain, and able to walk at least 10km per day. An enthusiastic attitude and good work ethic is essential. We work on an island with a small team so a tolerance to isolation is desired. Experience in telemetry is also desired but not essential as there will be training. If you are interested, please send a CV and a cover letter to Kathryn Strang  k.strang@massey.ac.nz. Questions should be sent to this email address also. Applications will be reviewed now and continue until the position is filled.


Monitor a colour-banded population of lovely fairy-wrens in Cairns

We are looking for field assistants to help expand and monitor a colour-banded population of lovely fairy-wrens in Cairns (Queensland), Australia for a study on female ornamentation. Time periods: June or September 2015 (3 to 6 months). Duties include regular censusing of colour-banded birds, searching for and monitoring nests, mist-netting, recording song and measuring colouration, behavioural observations, video analysis, and data proofing. Working days are long, with early starts six days a week. Enthusiasm, self-motivation and organisation, and a strong work ethic are a must. Qualifications: experience monitoring colour-banded birds, nest-searching, and mist-netting. Good knowledge of English is a requirement. Must also be early riser, physically fit, able to work in extreme weather conditions, and enjoy basic shared living conditions. Having experience in behavioural observations and a driving licence is a plus but not a requirement.

Accommodation is provided, but assistants cover travel to the site and their own food costs. The project will reimburse up to AUD$750/mo towards receipted food and travel expenses. For more information contact: Ana Leitao (avitorinoATstudent.unimelb.edu.au). To apply, please email a letter outlining previous relevant field research experience, and a CV including names and contact information for 3 referees. Applications received until the 9th of April 2015 will receive full consideration. Later applications may be considered.


Upcoming Conferences

2016. March 29 – April 3. International Congress of Neuroethology, Uruguay

2016. August. 8th World Congress of Herpetology, Hangzhou, China

2016. September 25-30. International Congress of Entomology, Orlando, Florida, USA

2018. International Union for the Study of Social Insects, Guarujá, Brazil.


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