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University of Portsmouth Featured PhD Programmes
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PhD Elevate Scholarship: Seaweed Cultivation for the Biofiltration of Nutrients from the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon

School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences

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About the Project

The Opportunity

The Australian Seaweed Institute (ASI) and the Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre (CMERC) at CQUniversity are partnering to develop a transformational technology for seaweed to protect the Great Barrier Reef. Through a network of seaweed biofilters between the coast and the reef, nitrogen and carbon dioxide would be captured by the seaweed and then harvested for use in products such as biofertiliser.

The project has three main themes – to determine the reliable triggers for spawning mature seaweeds in the laboratory, testing the nursery conditions that optimise the attachment and growth of juvenile seaweeds, and assessing the performance of nursery-reared seaweeds in reducing nutrient concentrations in seawater. The student will gain valuable skills and training in fundamental higher degree research including systematic literature searches, field and laboratory experimental design and quantitative methods, data collection and statistical analysis, project management, and scientific writing.

The student will be hosted at CQUniversity’s Gladstone Marina campus in Queensland, with opportunity to travel to other campuses and ASI offices in Brisbane. However, given the current COVID-19 situation, the location for the first 6 months of desk-based literature review is very flexible. Selection of applicants will be based on merit.

Central Queensland University – About Us

With the largest footprint of any university in Australia and a comprehensive range of TAFE and university courses available online or on campus, CQUniversity is committed to our belief that higher education should be for everyone. We've achieved excellent results year-on-year for our research quality and graduate employability, and are Australia's first and only Changemaker Campus recognised by global social innovation group Ashoka U. Follow this link for a video on CQUniversity:

The Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre (CMERC) has recently opened on the Gladstone Marina and is the only coastal marine research facility based in Central Queensland. CMERC has a specific focus on the Southern Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and researches how the industry and marine ecosystems can thrive beside each other in harmony. CMERC is also proud to host Queensland’s first and only seagrass nursery. Follow this link to learn more about CMERC:

Gladstone – Southern Great Barrier Reef ‘Where Great Begins

The Gladstone Region may very well be one of Australia’s best kept secrets. If you are searching for pristine beaches, marvelous coral islands, and plenty of national parks, then look no further. Boasting the iconic Town of 1770 along the Discovery Coast in the south, the gorgeous Heron Island just a short boat ride away, and a view like no other from the Round Hill lookout, the region has much to offer.

Known as a bustling hive of various industries, the thriving hub of the region is Gladstone. The city prides itself on constant monitoring and improvements on coastal vegetation, air quality, and conservation programs to keep the region welcoming residents, visitors, and travelers, all-year round.

Follow this link for a video on our wonderful region, thanks to Queensland Aerial


Please go to CQUniversity's Research Scholarships portal for Selection Criteria and to apply:

Please note: to apply for this opportunity, you will need to be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or permanent resident of Australia, or an international applicant eligible for a student visa for temporary residence and already be living in Australia at time of application due to travel restrictions that are currently in place in Australia due to COVID-19.

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