[Coral-List] Two PhD opportunities

Alan Duckworth A.Duckworth at aims.gov.au
Tue May 14 18:41:53 EDT 2013

AIMS and UWA are searching for two PhD students to examine the effects of dredging on corals; details below.
Please forward on to any suitable candidate.
Regards, Alan

Two PhD opportunities: Effects of dredging on corals

Project Description

In Australia and especially Western Australia, there are many current and planned major dredging projects where millions of cubic metres of sediments require removal. These volumes are significant by global standards and since the released sediments can reduce or block light, clog filtering and feeding apparatus and smother benthic organisms they carry a significant environmental risk. To manage this risk, there is an urgent need to better understand the relationships between dredging-relating pressures and the responses for key, sensitive, biota, especially iconic and ecologically important groups such as corals. Dredging related 'pressures' (like suspended sediments, light attenuation and sedimentation) will be manipulated in laboratory experiments and the effects on different life-history stages of corals examined. This will help in understanding cause:effect pathways and establishing pressure:response relationships and in turn assist in developing water quality guidelines and management conditions for use in dredging projects around coral reefs.

Two PhDs are available, one examining the effects on adults corals (see link below) and a second examining the effects of sediments on the early life-histories (such as a fertilization, larval development and settlement, see link below). The PhD students will join a research team at AIMS involving senior scientists, technicians, and other PhD students examining the effects of sediments on different marine organisms (including sponges). The research will meet the broader project objectives of the Western Australian Marine Science Institution (http://www.wamsi.org.au) Dredging Science Node.

More information is available from

http://www.wamsi.org.au/category/region/research-dredging-science (see Theme 4 for adult corals and Theme 7 for juveniles)


Research location

The PhD students will examine the effects of sediments on corals under controlled experimental conditions in the new, advanced aquarium facilities of SeaSim at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (Townsville) (see http://www.aims.gov.au/seasim). The position will involve field-work collecting test materials and possibility manipulative experiments in the field.

Enrolment and Funding Details

The students will be enrolled at The University of Western Australia (UWA, Perth) (http://www.uwa.edu.au), but will be based at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) (http://www.aims.gov.au/) in Townsville (Queensland), Australia. The starting date is 1 July 2013 and no later than 2 September 2013. A stipend equivalent to the Australian Postgraduate Award is available for three years. International applicants may attract international student fees.

Contacts: for further information

Dr Ross Jones, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Perth: r.jones at aims.gov.au<mailto:r.jones at aims.gov.au>

Dr Andrew Negri, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville: a.negri at aims.gov.au<mailto:a.negri at aims.gov.au>

Dr Peta Clode, The University of Western Australia: peta.clode at uwa.edu.au<mailto:peta.clode at uwa.edu.au>

Dr Alan Duckworth, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville: a.duckworth at aims.gov.au<mailto:a.duckworth at aims.gov.au>

Application process

(a) Submit a letter of interest, briefly introducing yourself and which PhD you are applying for, (b) a detailed CV (including full name, citizenship, contact address/email, date of birth, all relevant education and academic grades, work experience, including dates, and awards/scholarships) and names of 2 academic referees (who may be called upon to provide a reference if shortlisted) (c) address the criteria outlined below. Send applications to: r.jones at aims.gov.au<mailto:r.jones at aims.gov.au>, a.negri at aims.gov.au<mailto:a.negri at aims.gov.au>, peta.clode at uwa.edu.au<mailto:peta.clode at uwa.edu.au>, a.duckworth at aims.gov.au<mailto:a.duckworth at aims.gov.au> by 15 June 2013 with 'AIMS/UWA/WAMSI Dredging (Corals) PhDs' in the subject line

Selection criteria for candidates

Please answer each of the following questions (no more than one paragraph for each answer):

Key criteria

(1)        Please further describe your education (e.g. BSc, MSc, Honours in Biology, Environmental management etc) and relevance to the PhD positions;

(2)        Please outline any previous/current research that you have been engaged and that may be relevant (for example: coral biology, photo-physiology, ecotoxicology, marine biology, animal husbandry);

(3)        Please outline examples of your science communication skills (for example: presentations, publications, including type of publication (eg. journal article, posters, conference papers, web-based articles). Include as an Appendix the Abstract of any theses (Bachelors, Honours, Masters etc) you have written;

(4)        Please describe why you would like to undertake a PhD on the effects of sediments on corals;

(5)        Please outline any other information that could be relevant to the application (include a starting date, other attainments such as fellowships, scholarships, or awards). Note: SCUBA diving, or the ability to attain suitable qualifications, is essential. Diving and field experience could be specified here.

(6)        Ability to meet UWA admission requirements for PhD, see http://www.studyat.uwa.edu.au/postgraduate/admission

Alan Duckworth, PhD
Research Scientist
Australian Institute of Marine Science
PMB 3 Townsville MC, QLD 4810, Australia
Phone +61 7 4753 4232; Mobile 04 1977 0999
Email a.duckworth at aims.gov.au

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