PhD scholarship: Ecology of Aboriginal food plants (Dja Dja Wurrung Country)

Opportunity Type: 
Student Opportunity
Closing Date: 
Friday, April 17, 2020

A doctoral scholarship (fully-funded stipend plus operating) is available for an outstanding candidate to undertake research on the role of cultural fire in Aboriginal food production. This Industry PhD Research Scholarship, established by La Trobe University in partnership with Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation/Djandak Enterprises and Central Victorian Biolinks Alliance (CVBA), will be awarded to a qualified applicant with a background in botany, fire ecology or vegetation science.

Interest in Aboriginal food plants is occurring at the same time as Traditional Owners are reviving cultural fire practices. This project will investigate links between Aboriginal women’s cultural fire use, traditional farming practices and the ecology and management of plant species traditionally used for food and fibre, with a particular focus on murnong (yam daises). The candidate will work closely with Dja Dja Wurrung women, CVBA and the Centre for the Study of the Inland at La Trobe University, to combine botanical survey, plant population ecology, glasshouse trials and monitoring of cultural burns at research sites on country to increase knowledge for the on-going protection and management of traditional yam-field grasslands. Research outcomes are expected to inform cultural fire, food growing and biodiversity conservation practices in Victoria.

The PhD candidate will be based at La Trobe University (Melbourne) and will spend time at Djandak Enterprises (Bendigo) with regular field trips to central Victoria.

Benefits of the scholarship include:
• a La Trobe Research Scholarship for three and a half years, with a value of $28,092 per annum, to support your living costs (2020 rate)
• a fee-relief scholarship for up to four years to undertake a PhD at La Trobe University
• a $12,500 operating grant across the duration of the project
• opportunities to work with La Trobe’s outstanding researchers, and have access to our suite of professional development programs.

To apply go to

Please contact Dr Jim Radford (Research Centre for Future Landscapes) for further information.