PhD: Unravelling the impacts of African lovegrass on food web integrity in the lowland grassy woodlands of the Bega Valley

Opportunity Type: 
Student Opportunity
Closing Date: 
Monday, September 30, 2019

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) environmental science discipline invites applications for a PhD student (domestic or international) to work on an ARC funded project in the Bega Valley of New South Wales.

The PhD candidate will study interactions between vertebrates, invertebrates and plants in the lowland grassy woodlands of the Bega Valley. Working in the context of a large experiment with supervisors from both QUT and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL in Switzerland, project objectives are to broadly:

1) Discover how non-native and native mammalian herbivores impact aboveground invertebrate community composition, abundance and richness.

2) Unravel how the abundance of African lovegrass changes interactions between consumers across trophic levels and how these changes impact plant community richness and composition including alterations in plant functional traits.

3) Quantify how the progressive exclusion of animal species in these grassland ecosystems impacts on ecosystem coupling and stability.

This project involves both field-based research and laboratory work, and we invite the applicants to tailor their research project to their own interests within this broader research programme. PhD degrees in Australia typically run for three years.

Please lodge an application for through the QUT annual scholarship round which closes on the 30 of September, 2019. https://www.qut.edu.au/research/annual-scholarship-roundPlease contact Professor Jennifer Firn if you would like any further information: jennifer.firn@qut.edu.au