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