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Searching For Meaningful Belowground Indicators of Health in Threatened Ecological Communities

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, March 31, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

The Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE) is a research institute within Western Sydney University. HIE has rapidly become a research leader in environmental and ecological research, with a strong reputation for delivering research outcomes of the highest quality. HIE is home to a team of over 50 academic research scientists and more than 60 PhD students, with access to a unique suite of world-class research facilities.

We are looking for a highly motivated and qualified candidate for a 3-year PhD program of research commencing in 2019. This studentship is part of new research programme established under the Office of Environment and Heritage “Saving Our Species” initiative. Its goal is to identify and test soil biodiversity and functional variables that can serve to effectively monitor the health and response to management of threatened ecological communities.

Belowground biodiversity and processes are crucial for longterm viability of threatened ecological communicates (TECs). Fundamental to conserving TECs is effectively monitoring change and response to threats and management interventions. Because of the intrinsic complexity of ecosystems, surrogate measures of ecosystem functions are often used but the reliability of these indicators is not clear. This project will use observational and experimental approaches to directly investigate potential belowground indicators of ecosystem health in a suite of regions and ecosystems across NSW.

Applications are open to international candidates as well as Australian or New Zealand citizens or permanent residents of Australia. The position is based at the Hawkesbury campus of Western Sydney University, Richmond, NSW. The candidate will work with Western Sydney University researchers in collaboration with the Ecosystem Management Science division of The Office of Environment and Heritage of New South Wales, Australia.

What Does The Scholarship Provide?

Domestic students will receive a tax free stipend of $30,000 per annum and a funded place in the doctoral degree. » International students will receive a tax free stipend of $30,000 per annum. Those with a strong track record will receive a fee waiver. » The project will also provide substantial benefits in terms of additional operational funding for project field work and data collection, and travel and conference attendance.


As a minimum, the successful applicant should: » hold qualifications and experience equal to one of the following (i) an Australian Bachelor Honours degree, (ii) coursework Masters with at least a 25% research component, (iii) a Research Masters degree or (iv) equivalent overseas qualifications. » demonstrate strong academic performance in soil biology and ecology, field ecology and conservation biology/ecology. » be enthusiastic and highly motivated to undertake further study at an advanced level. » possess excellent written and verbal communication skills.

International applicants must also demonstrate a high level of proficiency in the English language. Please refer to the English language requirements at international/home/admissions/entry_requirements

How To Apply

Applicants should discuss their eligibility and interests with Dr Yolima Carrillo at
Contact the Graduate Research School at .

Please submit an application form, CV, names and contact information of two referees, and a one-page document stating how your research interests align with the project’s aims.

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