Two PhD scholarships to study effects of heat stress in purple-crowned fairy-wrens
In the Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology of Birds Group (https://sites.google.com/site/petersresearchgroup/) @ Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, two PhD positions (start dates between Aug and Oct) are available to study how ambient temperatures affect physiology and behaviour of purple-crowned fairy-wrens using a combination of existing and newly-collected data.
Field work taking place at AWC Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary in the Kimberley, the tropical monsoonal region of NW-Australia. The research group has been studying a fully colour-banded, known-age population since 2005, with extensive information on individual life-histories. This project will investigate and how birds deal with the very high temperatures this tropical endangered species experiences. The research will focus on effects of high temperatures on metabolic rate, condition, heat stress, foraging behaviour, use of microsites and molecular aging. Additionally, the project will assess which individual attributes (age, sex, social status, morphology, genetic background) and environmental parameters (social group size, habitat) affect individual variation in response to increasing temperatures. The work will consist of behavioural observation, capture and handling of birds, metabolic rate measurements
The research is funded through a Discovery Project grant of the Australian Research Council (DP18) to Assoc Prof Anne Peters.
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.
Requirements and further information
Applicants must have self-motivation, enthusiasm, a background in behavioural and evolutionary ecology, a passion for studying wild animals in their natural environment, strong quantitative skills and an excellent work ethic, experience with (tropical) fieldwork and/or mistnetting highly desirable, a full driver’s licence is required.
Successful students will be offered a stipend (living-allowance) scholarship provided tax free for three years, with the possibility of a six-month extension. Expenses for research, coursework, and conference attendance are covered; relocation assistance is available. For international students, cost of tuition fees and Overseas Student Health Cover are covered.
In order to be eligible, students must have four-year degree with relevant research experience, outstanding grades, and excellent English. Evidence of published research is a plus.
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 required; and the names and contact details of 3 academic references. After a review of all applications, you may be contacted for a skype or personal interview. If you are selected for a PhD position, you will be sent an invitation to submit a formal application through the Monash University web portal.
See https://sites.google.com/site/petersresearchgroup/ for further details. Contact Anne (anne.peters[at]monash.edu) if you would like further information on the project or the application process. Deadline is 1 June 2018.