Livestock performance – including associated methane emissions – is strongly dependent on the nutritional characteristics of the pastures on which they feed. As the climate warms and rainfall becomes increasingly variable, it is important to expand the range of pasture species that are grown in temperate systems, to include tropical and subtropical species that potentially offer nutritional benefits along with increased climate resilience. This project will provide much-needed data on the nutritional chemistry, digestibility and anti-methanogenic potential of perennial legumes and grass-herb-legume mixtures growing under contrasting climate conditions and, for a subset of species, differing management regimes. This will address a substantial knowledge gap around climate risk management and the potential to mitigate ruminant methane emissions under future climates – a key goal of pasture-dependent livestock industries across the globe. Such information can ultimately be used to select pasture species that not only support livestock productivity, but reduce the industry’s greenhouse gas footprint, potentially allowing reductions to be quantified and traded on carbon markets.
We are looking for a highly motivated and qualified candidate for 3-year PhD program of research at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE), Western Sydney University, commencing in spring 2022. This studentship is part of a new research project investigating the impacts of climate extremes on the productivity, nutritional and chemical characteristics, and persistence of perennial legumes and pasture mixtures. The student project will undertake research at our state-of-the-art PACE experimental field facility to evaluate the impacts of climate manipulations on the nutritional chemistry, digestibility and anti-methanogenic potential of key pasture legumes and herbs growing under field conditions. The successful applicant will join a vibrant, multidisciplinary team of researchers based at the Hawkesbury Campus of Western Sydney University, and engage with industry partners and project stakeholders. Applications are open to international candidates as well as Australian or New Zealand citizens or permanent residents of Australia.
We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds who are keen to apply their skills to the project topic. The successful applicant should:
- hold qualifications and experience equal to one of the following (i) an Australian First Class Bachelor (Honours) degree, (ii) coursework Masters with at least 25% research component, (iii) Research Masters degree, or (iv) equivalent international qualifications.
- demonstrate strong academic performance in the field of plant ecology or nutritional ecology.
- demonstrate a willingness to undertake field-based research and engage with project partners and stakeholders.
- be enthusiastic and highly motivated to undertake further study at an advanced level.
- possess excellent written and verbal communication skills.
International applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency.
HOW TO APPLY
Complete the application via the link: https://bit.ly/3P1A5nW
Follow the step-by-step instructions on the how to apply for a project scholarship.
- Note: You do not need to complete 'Step 5: Submit an online application for admission' when applying for this scholarship. You must complete 'Step 6: Submit an online application for a project scholarship'.
Incomplete applications or applications that do not conform to the above requirements will not be considered.
For questions and advice about the research project, please contact the Lead Researchers; Associate Professor Ben Moore: [Email Address Removed] Professor Sally Power: [Email Address Removed]
For questions and advice about the application process, please contact the Graduate Research School: [Email Address Removed].
Use the email subject line: Application PS2022_045_HIE
Closing date: 31 August 2022
*Applications close at 11.59pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).