Reef fishes have evolved strategies to cope with environmental variability but climate change potentially changes the game. Will strategies that maximise biological fitness in today’s world (e.g., reproductive phenology, patterns of larval development, and essential nursery habitats) continue to convey resilience, or will they lead to novel phenotype-environment mismatches that reduce fitness and cause fish populations to decline? Answers to these questions are fundamental to the fight against climate change, and will inform management actions to ensure food/economic security for many countries, including New Zealand.
We seek a dynamic and highly motivated PhD student to join our lab group, and to help us address some of these questions. You will be based in Wellington, New Zealand, and hosted by the School of Biological Sciences and the Coastal Ecology Laboratory. There is considerable scope for you to develop a programme of research that integrates field observations and experiments with lab studies, otolith-based developmental reconstructions, and/or modelling.
What we have to offer
As the successful candidate, you will join a fantastic, dynamic lab group, and have an opportunity to make this project your own. You will have opportunities to put your SCUBA skills to use, conduct subtidal marine field work in fabulous locations, and you will turn data into impactful publications that position you for the next stage of your career. You will enjoy all the offerings of Wellington and wider New Zealand. You will make life-long friendships, and you may never wish to leave (many of our international alumni have fallen in love with New Zealand, and secure jobs within academia, research institutes, and government ministries; others have moved on to international postdocs and/or to academic positions within their home countries).
- Master’s degree or an equivalent standard (see important funding notes)
- A minimum of a PADI Rescue Diver certificate with relevant diving experience (or equivalent – NO exceptions)
- IELTS overall band of 6.5, no sub-score below 6 (or equivalent, for more information, see this page)
- Ability to work independently, and as part of a team
- Ability to work at remote locations and/or physically demanding field conditions (experience operating or working from boats would also be an advantage).
- Strong quantitative skills
Preliminary applications can be sent by email directly to Prof Shima in advance of one of the following review deadlines: 15 January, 15 May, or 15 Sept. Short-listed candidates will be notified, and interviews will be arranged. Selected candidates will be notified and encouraged to apply for university entrance and/or for the next available application round for a Wellington Doctoral Scholarship. (deadlines for these applications: 1 March, 1 July, and 1 November).
What to include in your preliminary application:
- a cover letter outlining why you want the PhD position, and how you meet the applicant requirements (this is really important)
- a full CV
- a copy of your academic transcripts (unofficial transcripts are suitable for this purpose)
- an example of your scientific writing
- the names/contact details of two people who can act as academic references (there is no need to request any reference letters be sent at this initial stage).
Preliminary application deadlines (sent to Prof Shima): 15 Jan, 15 May, 15 Sept (applicants for fully funded scholarships will be assessed from 15 Jan 2024)
Wellington Doctoral Scholarship deadlines (upon invitation, following preliminary application review): 1 Mar, 1 July, 1 Nov