Investigating amphibian tolerance to the skin fungal disease chytridiomycosis

   Centre for Planetary Health and Food Security

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  Dr Laura Grogan, Prof H McCallum  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project


The Frog Research Team in eastern Australia ( has a PhD opportunity available for a highly motivated applicant to study frog chytrid fungal disease (3 year PhD).

You can find details of this PhD opportunity here:

Wildlife are in peril. Chytridiomycosis (caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) is the most devastating disease threat to biodiversity ever recorded. It has caused the decline and extinction of hundreds of frog species around the world.

This PhD project investigates infection dynamics of chytridiomycosis in frogs, and explores mechanisms of resistance and tolerance to the disease. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to make a direct conservation impact by working with endangered frog species of eastern Australia. You will be working with captive endangered Fleay’s barred frogs (Mixophyes fleayi) to contribute to their population recovery in the wild. You will also have the opportunity to get into the field, and to develop modelling skills.

The project is funded by an Australian Research Council grant, and the PhD scholars will be supervised by Dr. Laura Grogan and Prof. Hamish McCallum from Griffith University, Gold Coast campus, Queensland, Australia.

*** TO APPLY ***

Please note: Due to uncertainty surrounding international travel, Griffith University is currently not accepting offshore international student applications. 

To apply, submit a CV and one-page statement of your research interests to Dr. Laura Grogan [Email Address Removed] with the subject line “PhD application” at least one month prior to when you intend to submit your scholarship and PhD application through Griffith University. Applications are considered by the Griffith Graduate Research School throughout the year, but there is an 'Annual round' that closes around the beginning of October each year. To be eligible for PhD candidature at Griffith University you need to have First Class Honours or equivalent (i.e. Level 8 or above in the Australian Qualifications Framework). A minimum of one first-authored peer-reviewed scientific publication in a journal of international standing is recommended.


Griffith University is situated in sunny subtropical Brisbane in the state of Queensland, on the east coast of Australia. For more information about the research team, please visit:

For information about Griffith University please visit:

For information about the location, please visit:,,

You can find a flyer for this PhD opportunity here:

Keywords: disease, wildlife, conservation, ecology, epidemiology, chytridiomycosis, chytrid, infection, frog, frogs, anurans, anuran, amphibian, amphibians, mark-recapture, multi-state, modelling, disease ecology, wildlife disease, declines, extinction, population declines, chytrid fungus, Australia, Southern Hemisphere, Queensland, Brisbane, Gold Coast, QLD, Griffith University, laboratory, experiment, recovery, resistance, tolerance, epidemic, epizootic, pandemic, endemic, wild, wild animal, herpetology, rainforest, stream, mesocosm, field, field work, lab, captive, animal, animals

Biological Sciences (4) Medicine (26) Veterinary Sciences (35)

Funding Notes

Project costs are funded by an Australian Research Council DECRA (Discovery Early Career Researcher Award), with PhD scholarship and tuition fees funded through Griffith University. Applicants will need to be eligible for PhD candidature at Griffith University.
Please note: Due to uncertainty surrounding international travel, Griffith University is currently not accepting offshore international student applications.


Martin, L. B., Addison, B., Bean, A. G. D., Buchanan, K. L., Crino, O. L., Eastwood, J. R., Flies, A. S., Hamede, R., Hill, G. E., Klaassen, M., Koch, R. E., Martens, J. M., Napolitano, C., Narayan, E. J., Peacock, L., Peel, A. J., Peters, A., Raven, N., Risely, A., Roast, M. J., Rollins, L. A., Ruiz-Aravena, M., Selechnik, D., Stokes, H. S., Ujvari, B., Grogan, L. F. (accepted 14 Dec, 2018) Extreme competence: keystone hosts of infections. Trends in Ecology and Evolution (IF 15.938).
Grogan, L. F., Robert, J., Berger, L., Skerratt, L. F., Scheele, B. C., Castley, J. G., Newell, D. A., McCallum, H. I. (2018) Review of the amphibian immune response to chytridiomycosis, and future directions. Frontiers in Immunology, 9:2536, (link) (IF 5.511).
Grogan, L. F., Skerratt, L. F., Berger, L., Cashins, S. D., Trengove, R. D., Gummer, J. P. A. (2018) Chytridiomycosis causes catastrophic organism-wide metabolic dysregulation including profound failure of cellular energy pathways. Scientific Reports, 8:8188, doi:10.1038/s41598-018-26427-z (link) (IF 4.122).
Grogan, L. F., Cashins, S. D., Skerratt, L. F., Berger, L., McFadden, M. S., Harlow, P., Hunter, D. A., Scheele, B. C., Mulvenna, J. (2018) Evolution of resistance to chytridiomycosis is associated with a robust early immune response. Molecular Ecology, doi:10.1111/MEC.14493 (link) (IF 6.131).
Grogan, L. F., Mulvenna, J., Gummer, J. P. A., Scheele, B. C., Berger, L., Cashins, S. D., McFadden, M. S., Harlow, P., Hunter, D. A., Trengove, R. D., Skerratt, L. F. (2018) Survival, gene and metabolite responses of Litoria verreauxii alpina frogs to fungal disease chytridiomycosis. Scientific Data, doi:10.1038/sdata.2018.33 (link) (IF 5.305).
Grogan, L. F., Peel, A. J., Kerlin, D., Ellis, W., Jones, D., Hero, J.-M., McCallum, H. (2018) Is disease a major causal factor in declines? An evidence framework and case study on koala chlamydiosis. Biological Conservation 221:334-344 (link) (IF 4.660).
Martel, A., Pasmans, F., Fisher, M.C., Grogan, L.F., Skerratt, L.F., Berger, L. (2018) Chytridiomycosis, in Seyedmousavi, de Hoog, Guillot, and Verweij (editors) Emerging and Epizootic Fungal Infections in Animals. Springer publishing, Switzerland (link) (BOOK CHAPTER).