Calls for scholarship and research fund applications

[MSSANZ] 4-year funded PhD scholarships for modelling the Great Barrier Reef

Please pass this on to any qualified students who may be interested. I have available two four-year funded PhD scholarships to work with me at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, on projects relating to modelling the Great Barrier Reef.

The projects are:
Biogeochemical modelling of tropical marine ecosystems in the context of climate change
Modelling plastic pollution in the Great Barrier Reef
You can find details on eligibility and how to apply at
In addition to the eligibility requirements, I am looking for students who have a strong quantitative background, some programming experience, and an interest in marine science. These are very well supported PhD scholarships and AIMS is a world-leader in tropical marine science and a great place to work. I'd be happy for students to contact me with any questions.



Dr Barbara Robson
Principal Research Scientist - Biogeochemical Modeller
Australian Institute of Marine Science
PMB 3 | Townsville MC QLD 4810 | Australia
Tel. (+61) 7 4753 4324 | Mob. (+61) 422 175 792

PhD opportunities in modelling hydrology-ecology interactions within the Hydrology & Water Resources group in Uni Melbourne School of Engineering

PhD top up scholarship – Understanding and managing climate risks to waterway health in unregulated river systems

PhD project with industry funding – Modelling shoreline vegetation to inform operations of Lake Victoria, NSW

PhD top up scholarship – Improving flow-ecology models to improve environmental water management in a changing climate

PhD Scholarship in Fisheries and Fisheries Ecosystem Impact Modelling – DTU

A PhD Scholarship in Fisheries and Fisheries Ecosystem Impact Modelling is available at the National Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua) with starting date May 2017. The scholarship is financed by National and EU Research Projects and supported by the DTU Aqua PhD School.

The project will primarily be carried out in affiliation to the Section for Ecosystem-based Management which is situated in Lyngby, Denmark. DTU Aqua is an institute at the Technical University of Denmark.

The purpose of DTU Aqua is to provide research, advice and education at the highest international level within the sustainable exploitation of living marine and freshwater resources, the biology of aquatic organisms and the development of ecosystems as well as their integration in ecosystem-based management. The institute has an international research staff comprising approx. 120 academic employees.

Project description
The overall aim is to model the interlinked marine fisheries, fish stock, and benthic habitat/community dynamics and their interactions with focus on ecosystem impacts of fisheries and fisheries management. This involves application and further development of bio-economic spatial and agent-based modelling techniques for simulating individual fishing vessels moving in some (e.g. virtual) marine environment. The project offers opportunity for making significant advance in an important field of fisheries research concerning estimating the various ecological and socio-economics trade-offs among fisheries incomes, the sustainability of the fish stocks harvested, and the impacts and sensitivity of the benthic habitats/communities given different fisheries management options. This further integrates aspects of fishing fleet economics and drivers linked to the varying agent´s decision making. Mitigating fisheries in time and space is considered an attractive management solution provided that recent data can support highly resolved risk assessment model¬ling tools and simulations to document and anticipate potential long term effects and expected related benefits of management scenarios and actions within the ecological-economic system under concern.

The specific purposes are to:

  • Application and further development of bio-economic spatial and agent based modelling and simulation methodology;
  • Estimating ecological and socio-economics trade-offs of management scenarios with respect to fisheries economic effects, harvested stock sustainability, and benthic impacts;
  • Evaluate fisheries interactions with occupation of space by other marine sectors (renewable energy, large marine constructions, aquaculture, transport/shipping, conservation such as Natura2000 areas / benthic sensitive habitats,  etc.) with respect to their ecological-economic effects;
  • Modelling fisheries with fine spatial resolution to enable local and regional maritime spatial planning (MSP);
  • Literature review of empirical studies to incorporate the effect of fishing pressure on benthic habitats per type of fishing gear;
  • Participate in coupling the bio-economic spatial and agent based modelling tool to a state-of-the-art spatial fish population modelling framework concerning resource ocurrence.

The focus case study will be the Baltic and North Sea areas and the main modelling platform tool to be used and expanded will be DISPLACE (

We are looking for a candidate who has:

  • Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in Aquatic Science & Technology or similar;
  • Previous experience in marine and fisheries research, and population, fisheries and ecosystem dynamics;
  • Proven experience and strong skills in modelling and  quantitative and statistical analyses;
  • Proficiency in at least two programming languages among R and Matlab, C++, Python and GIS;
  • Interests and preferences for agent based modelling;
  • Knowledge on (fisheries) economics;
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English;
  • Keen interest in desk-only research and for working within the field of marine and aquatic sciences.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.
The assessment of the applicants will be made by Sen. Sci. Francois Bastardie, Prof. J. Rasmus Nielsen, Sci. Grete Dinesen, and Sen. Sci. Ole R. Eigaard, DTU Aqua.

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students at DTU.

The period of employment is 3 years.

Further information
For further information about the project, please contact Sen. Sci. Francois Bastardie,

General information may be obtained from Christine Cecilie Hastrup (+45) 3588 3001

Please do not send applications by e-mail, instead apply online as described below.

Please submit your online application no later than 1 April 2017.

Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link “Apply online,” fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)
  • Description of skills according to qualifications.

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master’s degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

The purpose of DTU Aqua is to provide research, advice and education at the highest international level within the sustainable exploitation of living marine and freshwater resources, the biology of aquatic organisms and the dynamics of ecosystems as well as their integration in ecosystem-based management. DTU Aqua has 260 employees, of whom a third are scientific staff. The other employees are assistant biologists, laboratory technicians, IT employees, administrative staff, ship’s crew, student assistants etc. The institute is organized into eight scientific sections which carry out the research, educational and advisory activities. In addition, the institute has a number of scientific and administrative support functions, including the research vessel DANA. DTU Aqua has employees in Charlottenlund, Silkeborg, Nykøbing Mors and Hirtshals as well as on Dana.You can read more about DTU Aqua on

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 10,600 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.

Apply here

PhD scholarship: Modelling the Conservation of Wide-Ranging Species


PhD scholarship: Modelling the Conservation of
Wide-Ranging Species


University of Western Australia

Perth, Western Australia
Salary etc:
$29,000/year for 3 years + $1,500/year research funding

An exciting opportunity has arisen to undertake a PhD that will contribute towards the conservation of wide-ranging species in one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots.

This PhD is part of a larger project involving staff from the University of Western Australia, Alcoa of Australia, Department of Parks and Wildlife and the Western Australian Museum.

The project

The project, funded by the Australia Research Council, Alcoa World Alumina Australia and Department of Parks and Wildlife, aims to develop methods to better integrate conservation with anthropogenic activities across the whole landscape in a drying climate.

We are seeking a motivated candidate to undertake a PhD that will use data on the spatial distribution of critical resources for Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos to model the best trade-offs between conservation outcomes and a range of anthropogenic land uses. Critically, this will include modelling of how the location of cockatoo drink sites might influence these trade-offs.

While most of the data have already been collected, we would envisage that the candidate would undertake, or assist with, some fieldwork to better understand the cockatoo ecology, the landscapes and land uses modelled. The fieldwork would be conducted in a variety of landscapes in the northern jarrah forest ranging from 35km SE to120km SSE of Perth.

The candidate

We are looking for a candidate interested in both quantitative and qualitative research design, methodology and analysis, an ability to work both independently and as part of a team and a desire to interact and collaborate with both government departments and private industries.

Most of all we are seeking people with a passion for conserving our unique fauna and an interest in finding novel methods of achieving effective conservation outcomes in multiple-use landscapes.

Selection Criteria


  1. Completion of 1st-class or upper 2A honours or a Master of Science (MSc) or equivalent.
  2. Experience and skills in quantitative modelling of real world systems
  3. Willingness to engage with external stakeholders, such as private companies and government departments, and effectively present scientific research results to this audience
  4. Excellent interpersonal and oral communication skills
  5. Willingness to work as part of a large interdisciplinary team and achieve outcomes through a combination of planning, working independently, and collaborating with other team members


  1. Experience in undertaking field-based vertebrate research
  2. Experience in modelling spatial and/or ecological data and familiarity with modelling software
  3. Experience in surveying literature and working with experts to define key ecological research questions then designing and implementing models to address such questions
  4. Experience in analysing, validating and interpreting model outputs
  5. Experience in calibrating models based on available knowledge and data
  6. Experience in writing scientific reports and publishing in the peer-reviewed literature
  7. A current A-class driver’s license.

How to apply

Enquiries about the position should be addressed to Dr Mike Craig either by email at or by phone on (08) 6488 1073.

To apply for the scholarship, please send a cover letter outlining why you want to do this PhD and your suitability for the position, a CV with the names and details of two academic referees and a document addressing the following selection criteria to

Applications close: Friday, 31 March 2017.

This scholarship is open to Australian and New Zealand citizens.

Date published:
31 Jan 2017
Closing date:
31 Mar 2017