at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
We are pleased to announce multiple opportunities available for a start from mid to late 2017
1: Adapting to a foreign climate: the reproductive ecology of the house sparrow in Australia
The house sparrow (Passer domesticus) was introduced into Australia in the 1860's and has since become well established across a broad range of climates in both countries. This project will take advantage of this â€˜experimental' introduction to focus on behavioural and physiological adaptations to different climates through a field-based comparative approach. This research will complement our existing work on related questions in endemic Australian species and will provide insight into the capacity of avian species to adapt to changing climates. This project will involve periods of field-work in Broken Hill, Armidale and Hobart in Australia, along with a range of behavioural, molecular and physiological assays. The project will involve collaboration with other groups in Australia and the US.
2: The challenge of growing in a hot climate (in the zebra finch)
In recent years we have characterised the very hot conditions in which
zebra finches are raised (with nests often reaching temperatures over
40 degrees Celsius, as well as identifying adverse effects of these
conditions on embryonic development, offspring growth, and adult sperm.
This project is supported by an ARC funded project and will investigate
the adaptations that this iconic and well-studied species has to deal
with the extreme climate in which it lives. The project will take a
variety of approaches including behavioural work, and assays of
metabolism and physiology, and combine fieldwork and laboratory work.
The project will be run in collaboration with Dr Christine Cooper
(Curtin University, Western Australia), Prof. Pierre Deviche (Arizona
State University, US), and Prof. Pat Monaghan (Glasgow, UK).
3: Social structuring and life-history in free-ranging domestic sheep
In this project we will examine the importance of social structure and
collective intelligence to life-history trade-offs and productivity in
domestic sheep in the rangelands of Australia. The project will use
tools from social network theory and spatial ecology to characterise
individual and group behaviour and investigate their effect on
individual quality and productivity (lambs and wool) in this
challenging, but economically important part of Australia. The project
will be based at Fowlers Gap (near Broken Hill in the arid zone) and
require field work and well-developed analytical skills. This work will
be run in collaboration with partners in the pastoral industry and be
jointly supervised by Dr Stephan Leu (also at Macquarie University).
4: Parasite transmission dynamics in an Australian lizard
This project will investigate the relationship between host spatial and
social behaviour and bacterial transmission. It combines social network
theory, spatial ecology and wildlife epidemiology to determine how
different bacterial strains are transmitted through the population and
how individual behaviour and consequently population social structure
changes as a function of infection status. The project combines the
analysis of a very comprehensive (already collected) dataset with scope
for the student to develop his/her own ideas and conduct fieldwork. The
student should be interested in social networks and disease modelling
and have strong analytical skills. This project will be jointly
supervised by Dr Stephan Leu and A/Prof Martin Whiting (both at
Macquarie University). We also have strong relationships with disease
modelling colleagues in the US.
The Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University is a
vibrant environment which offers excellent support to postgraduate
students. A Macquarie University Excellence in Research Scholarship has
already been assigned to one of these projects, but there are other
scholarship opportunities available to suitably competitive candidates.
International candidates are welcome to apply for any of the projects
The 2014 MQRES full-time stipend rate is $26,682 pa tax exempt for 3
years (indexed annually). In addition to external grant support for
projects, there is additional internal funding (up to $17,000)
available to cover direct research expenses and conference travel.
Applicants should ideally have a research-based MSc in a related
discipline (with a minimum 50% research component), and additional
relevant research experience, qualifications, and details of awards or
prizes. For projects 1, 2, and 4 an ability to work in remote and harsh
conditions as well as experience in capturing and handling animals is
desirable. A driving licence is required for all projects.
Applications should include 1) your CV, 2) a brief statement of your
reasons for applying (max. 500 words) and the project you are applying
to work on, 3) contact details of two academic referees, 4) your
nationality (for scholarship eligibility purposes). Applications should
be submitted electronically as a single PDF file.
Applications for these positions (and any initial enquiries) should be
emailed by 7th April 2017 to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Simon Griffith, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Macquarie
University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia
Simon C. Griffith
Professor & ARC Future Fellow
Department of Biological Sciences
Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia.
phone: +61 2 9850 1301 fax: +61 2 9850 9231