[Coral-List] PhD positions in Australia for domestic and international students

Emily Howells em.howells at gmail.com
Sun Aug 9 11:16:19 UTC 2020

Genetics of climate-change adaptation in Great Barrier Reef corals

We are seeking expressions of interest for PhD positions working under the
supervision of scientists at the Australian Institute of Marine Science
(Dr. Line Bay), the University of Queensland (Prof. Cynthia Riginos, Dr.
Cheong Xin Chan), and Southern Cross University (Dr. Emily Howells).

Global warming and associated changes to earth’s climate threaten the
survival of corals worldwide. Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef has
experienced multiple episodes of severe and widespread bleaching. Thus, it
is becoming increasingly urgent to determine how quickly corals can adapt
to elevated temperatures and other environmental stressors. A large-scale
integrative project is underway as part of the Reef Restoration and
Adaptation Program that will use whole genome sequencing of multiple coral
species in association with the examination of physiological phenotypes,
microhabitats, and geography to advance our understanding of the genetic
basis of heat adaptation in GBR corals.

PhD projects will be part of this larger research program. Students will
take primary responsibility for sub-elements of this broader project such
as focusing on the physiology, quantitative genetics, and seascape genomics
of coral hosts and their symbionts. There is considerable scope for
students to develop additional projects depending on their specific
interests. Competitive applicants will have demonstrated relevant research
experience encompassing some combination of a) marine field work involving
diving for research, b) experience undertaking physiological experiments on
corals or related taxa, c) advanced training in evolution and genetics
(Masters or Honours degree with associated publications), d) experience
with bioinformatics and computer scripting (R, python, perl or other
relevant language). Note that we do not expect applicants to have
experience in all of these areas.

Full funding (living expenses and fees) for strongly qualified applicants
will be provided by the University of Queensland (for one domestic or
international student) and Southern Cross University (for one domestic or
international student). Strongly qualified domestic applicants (Australian
and New Zealand) must be eligible for the Australian Research Training
Program scholarship or other stipend funding. Applicants should be
available to start their studies in January 2021, although delays may be
unavoidable due to COVID travel restrictions.

Expressions of interest should be submitted via the RRAP portal
https://www.gbrrestoration.org/en_US/enquiry-form by August 21 2020 with a
single PDF file that includes: a brief cover letter/statement of interest
and experience (1 page maximum), a CV including the names and contact
details of 3 referees (2 pages max), and an academic transcript. Please tag
your submission with “PhD in Genetics of climate-change adaptation”. Short
listed candidates will be contacted and video interviewed in the first week
of September. Email enquiries can be directed to emily.howells at scu.edu.au.

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