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If you are interested in crop pollination and biodiversity in agricultural landscapes and have an idea for a research project, please contact Dr Romina Rader: rrader-at-une.edu.au.

New PhD scholarship opportunity!!!!!

Land-use change and plant-pollinator networks in diverse wildflower communities

The Rader lab, in collaboration with the Mayfield lab, is offering a unique and exciting opportunity for a motivated, independent and adventurous PhD candidate to study pollination networks in wildflower communities in the floristically diverse york gum woodlands of Western Australia. Once a year, diverse native plant communities burst into flower, creating one of nature’s true spectacles. Although once widespread, these hyper-diverse wildflower communities now persist in remnant habitat patches surrounded by a sea of agriculture. This system provides a unique opportunity to investigate novel questions linking human-driven environmental disturbance (agricultural expansion) to changes in plant-pollinator networks and plant reproduction. For example, do species with similar network roles also respond in the same way to land-use change? Does agricultural expansion result in increased flow of heterospecific pollen (pollen from different plant species)? What do these changes mean for plant reproduction?

 The successful PhD candidate will be required to: identify sites for sampling plant-pollinator networks, collect insects for identification, collect stigmas for pollen identification, mark flowers and collect seed, conduct land-use analyses and analyse complex network data. This 3-year PhD project will be based at UNE, in Armidale, NSW Australia with regular travel to Western Australia, for up to 3 months per year, to conduct fieldwork. The first field season will begin in August 2019 and will run for several months. The successful applicant will need to be comfortable living in close quarters with other students and researchers, for up to several months at a time.

 The successful candidate will have:

·         Ecological fieldwork experience, preferably plants and insects.

·         Strong analytical and programming skills, including experience or interest in network analyses. Experience with R language or similar is essential.

·         Excellent writing skills and experience preparing scientific manuscripts for publication (at least one peer-reviewed publication is preferred).

·         Experience working in remote locations and challenging environments.

·         Good plant and insect identification skills, and ability to quickly learn new plant and insect IDs.

·         Experience using ArcGIS or similar, or willingness to learn.

·         Experience with pollination biology methods is desirable, but not essential.


About the lab: the Rader lab is based at the University of New England in Armidale, NSW Australia. We are a multi-disciplinary group, studying a range of topics including pollination networks, global change impacts on pollinator communities, crop pollination and ecosystem services.

Supervisors: Dr Romina Rader, Dr Jamie Stavert, Prof. Margaret Mayfield and Dr Manu Saunders All applicants are required to send a CV and cover letter to Romina Rader: rrader(at)une.edu.au by 15 February 2019. Contact Romina Rader: rrader(at)une.edu.au or Jamie Stavert: jamie.stavert(at)gmail.com for further information.

Using honeybees as sentinel insects to assess resource availability for regent honeyeaters

PhD / hons/ masters Scholarship Opportunities:

The School of Environmental and Rural Science at the University of New England (UNE) is offering a unique and exciting opportunity for a motivated, independent and adventurous PhD candidate to work on better understanding nectar availability in key Eucalypt species to ensure the survival of regent honeyeaters in the wild.  The applicant will be part of a multidisciplinary team of key stakeholders and collaborators including the University of New England, the Office of Environment and Heritage, Local Land Services, Birdlife Australia, and the Australian beekeeping industry (https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/savingourspeciesapp/project.aspx?ProfileID=10841)

Candidates will adapt existing methods and develop new methods to gauge the frequency, duration, amount and location of nectar flows from a range of Eucalypts and other plant species utilized by regent honeyeaters.  The successful candidate will be required to undertake field and laboratory work across a range of protected and private lands in the south-eastern parts of Australia.

We are seeking applicants with an interest and/or background in any of the following: pollination ecology, ornithology, entomology, plant-animal interactions, molecular ecology, pollinator behaviour and/or habitat restoration. The 3-year PhD project will be based at UNE, in Armidale, NSW Australia. Ideally, candidates will have an interest and experience working with and managing honeybees, nectarivorous birds, and/or sampling nectar from plants.  Experience with methods to identify pollen is desirable, but not essential.

The responsibilities of the student will include: experimental design and development of field surveys to observe pollinator visiting flowers and working with beekeepers to assess nectar and pollen identity within honeybee hives. The successful candidate is also expected to undertake analytical and statistical work and to disseminate research results to a diverse range of stakeholders and the broader scientific community. An interest in working alongside industry partners, a willingness to work in remote areas and the capacity to work both independently and as part of a team are important qualities. The applicant must be proficient in spoken and written English and have a current driver’s licence. Selection of applicants will be based on merit. The candidates supervisory team will include staff from UNE, OEH and/or Birdlife Australia.

The PhD scholarship is open to domestic and international candidates, provides a tax-free stipend of $27,082 per year for three years and operating costs up to 3K per year. Masters and hons projects include project operating costs but do not attract a stipend. 

When to apply: Scholarship applications for candidates are due by 15 Aug 2019, or until filled.

To apply or enquire: Please send an email to Romina Rader rrader-at-une.edu.au, Rose Andrew randre20-at-une.edu.au and Manu Saunders manu.saunders-at-une.edu.au  with a statement of your background, experience and interest in the project, your Curriculum Vitae and any publications.



Guidelines and application forms can be found at:  http://www.une.edu.au/research/ethics-and-grants/funding-opportunities/une-postdoctoral-fellowships

 Nominations close at 4:30pm (AEST) Friday 20th July 2019.