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  Behavioural adaptation to environmental change in birds and the implications for conservation


   College of Science and Engineering

   Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Contact: Dr Lyanne Brouwer:

College of Science & Engineering

James Cook University, Townsville QLD 4811 Australia

Title: Behavioural adaptation to environmental change in birds

About the project:

Animals might adapt their behaviour behaviour to changing environmental conditions, like climate change and habitat loss. The project will study the dynamic interplay between ecological conditions and behaviour through a combination of new experiments, detailed behavioural observations and long-term datasets.

Possible areas of study include:

  1. Field based experiments and behavioural studies to determine whether variation in social behaviour can buffer against adverse weather effects in a long-term population study of red-winged fairy-wrens. Would suit an applicant who: has a passion for fieldwork.
  2. Comparative approaches whereby large-scale social organisation and behavioural data from multiple fairy-wren species and populations will be collected across Australia to examine whether variation in climate drives any of these traits. Would suit an applicant who: has a passion for fieldwork and analyses using large datasets.
  3. Examination of the fitness consequences of variation in social behaviour within and across species using long-term data combined with state-of-the-art genetic techniques. Would suit an applicant who: has a passion for data-based projects and quantitative genetics.
  4. Investigate the spatial and habitat requirements of endangered finches by acquiring long-term systematic movement data that can help with the implementation of effective management actions. Would suit an applicant who: has a passion for fieldwork and conservation.

Applications are open for non-Australian applicants both in Australia and overseas, and Australian domestic students.

To be a successful applicant you would ideally have a background in ecology. For field-based projects, experience in studying birds/birdwatching is required. You would either have, or be likely, to get a first-class Honours or Master’s degree at an institution of high repute. The degree must have included a research project that represents a significant contribution to the final mark. To be competitive for an international scholarship an excellent GPA and Peer-reviewed papers are required. Closing date for applications is 31 August 2024 with a starting date in 2025.

If you are interested, please email me with a CV detailing your GPA and publications and I will let you know whether I think your skill set and academic record would place you well against the competition.

See my website for more information about my research.

Biological Sciences (4)

Register your interest for this project


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