In the Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology of Birds Group at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, a PhD project is available to study how temperature affects nestling development using a combination of existing and newly-collected data. The research will focus on effects of nest temperatures on metabolism, growth, heat stress, immune maturation, adult performance and molecular aging and how these effects might be mitigated by cooperative breeding.
The project will focus on purple-crowned fairy-wrens, Malurus coronatus with field work taking place at AWC Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary in the Kimberley, a beautiful region in the monsoonal tropics of north-west Australia where the research group has been studying a fully colour-banded, known-age population since 2005.
Monash University is a member of Australia’s Group of Eight coalition, and is internationally recognized for excellence in research and teaching. The School of Biological Sciences is home to a collegial and interdisciplinary research environment, with strengths in ecology, genetics and evolutionary biology. The Monash doctoral program includes additional training opportunities beyond the research program that enhance employability post degree. Monash is located in Melbourne, one of the most liveable cities in the world and a cultural and recreational hub.
Qualifications: The student must have self-motivation, enthusiasm, a background in ecology and evolutionary theory, a passion for studying wild animals in their natural environment, a strong work ethic, experience with (tropical) fieldwork and/or bird handling and/or relevant quantitative skills. The student will have considerable flexibility in developing the project. In order to be eligible, students must have four-year degree with relevant research experience, outstanding grades, and excellent English.
Compensation: Successful students will be offered a scholarship for living expenses (and fee-waiver in the case of international students) of approximately AU$ $26,000 AUD, tax-free for 3.5 years, for full time research. Expenses for relocation, research, coursework, and conference attendance are covered.
Deadline: 1 March 2017
Application instructions: The application process takes place in two stages. Send your initial application to Anne Peters (anne.peters[at]monash.edu), consisting of: a letter of motivation; a CV; overview of your academic results, and translation if required, preferably indicating cohort rank or percentiles; English test results if available; and the names and contact details of 3 academic references. Deadline is 1 March 2017.