PhD opportunity: Improving Restoration and Management of Saline Valley-Floor Ecosystems in the northern agricultural region of Western Australia

Opportunity Type: 
Student Opportunity
Closing Date: 
Friday, July 31, 2020

Edith Cowan University Industry PhD Scholarship - “Improving Restoration and Management of Saline Valley-Floor Ecosystems in the northern agricultural region of Western Australia”

Expressions of Interests close 31st July 2020

Supervisors:  Dr Rob Davis and Dr Eddie van Etten (ECU)

We are seeking Expressions of Interest from potential candidates to undertake PhD research in the School of Science at ECU in Perth, in conjunction with our industry partner, the Gunduwa Regional Conservation Association (GRCA). 

The GRCA works to improve conservation outcomes across the Gunduwa Region, a large swathe of land straddling the northern Avon Wheatbelt and Southern Yalgoo bioregions of Western Australia, which includes the ecological transitional zone between the woodlands of the wheatbelt and the expansive mulga zone of the interior. ECU has active and substantive research program in ecology and environmental science/ management, having been ranked at well-above world standard in these disciplines in the last two ERA (Excellence in Research for Australia) assessments (2015 and 2018).

The candidate will undertake PhD research on the ecological values of valley-floor and saltland ecosystems of the region, and how they can be more effectively managed and restored, preferably with a focus on plant-animal interactions. Depending on the research background and interests of the student, the project will involve investigations of flora, vertebrate fauna and/or invertebrates of these ecosystems in relation to threats such as fire, increasing salinity and/or invasive species. Candidates must be comfortable undertaking field work in challenging conditions in a semi-arid environment, working closely with landholders in an agricultural region and  engaging with multiple other stakeholders to achieve the project aims. A commitment to working with key indigenous stakeholders is also essential.


The research will be supported by a Gunduwa-ECU Industry PhD scholarship (currently valued at $38,420 per annum tax free). Assistance with relocation expenses may be available for eligible candidates.


Candidates should have a degree in the field of ecology, and hold a first-class/upper second-class honours, or a Masters by Research qualification.  Publications will also assist in competitive selection. Candidates should be Australian citizens or permanent residents.

How to Apply

Candidates should prepare an Expression of Interest which includes a copy of their CV and a cover letter outlining their interests and relevant skills, motivation for applying and potential PhD research scope to either Dr Rob Davis or Dr Eddie van Etten (see emails below).

Expressions of Interest should be received by: 31st July 2020

More Information

Contact:  Dr Rob Davis (; 08-6304 5446) or Dr Eddie van Etten (; 6304 5566)