PhD project: Learning from success and failure in threatened species conservation

We seek to understand the reasons behind success and failure of threatened species management in Australia. This project will examine the regulatory and policy instruments and governance processes that have influenced on-ground recovery of threatened species. The project is part of Theme 6 of the National Environmental Science Programme Threatened Species Recovery hub. Successful applicants will have a demonstrated capacity and aptitude for conducting research and a general interest in environmental governance. It is also desirable that they possess or seek to obtain skills in social network analysis and expert elicitation.

Applicants must possess a Bachelor’s or equivalent degree with first-class Honours, Master of Science or MPhil with significant research components. Prospective applicants should apply for or be the recipient of an APA (or equivalent) scholarship.

Interested students should provide a professional CV and a short letter of interest to Associate Professor Kerrie Wilson (k.wilson2@uq.edu.au).

Student research opportunity: Smart Allocation of Restoration Funds

The emerging imperative in Australia and globally for restoring ecosystems requires smart investment of limited funds available for conservation and natural resource management. Student research projects are available as part of a broader ARC Linkage project that involves researchers with expertise in applied conservation and restoration ecology and restoration managers and practitioners at the City of Gold Coast.

The overarching goal of the project is to explore the trade-off between minimising risk and maximising the return on investment in the context of restoration. The successful candidates will assess the relationships between vegetation recovery and time, for different types of restoration actions. The project is suitable to projects at undergraduate, honours and post-graduate level and can involve both field research and elicitation of information from experts.

Successful applicants will have a demonstrated capacity and aptitude for conducting research. The candidate will work jointly with scientists at The University of Queensland, Griffith University and City of Gold Coast. The supervisory team will include: Assoc Prof Kerrie Wilson (UQ), Dr Luke Shoo (UQ), and Professor Carla Catterall (Griffith University).

Prospective PhD applicants should apply for or be the recipient of an APA (or equivalent) scholarship. Interested students should provide a professional CV and a short letter of interest to Dr Kerrie Wilson (k.wilson2@uq.edu.au).

 

Land management strategies to enhance ecosystem services in production landscapes

We seek to understand how production landscapes can be most effectively managed to enhance the delivery of multiple ecosystem services. Contrasting options to achieve this goal are referred to as land sharing and land sparing, which represent endpoints of a continuum of land management strategies. As part of an Australian Research Council Discovery Project, our aim is to undertake a rigorous assessment of the environmental and economic implications of land management strategies across three continents.

Student research projects are available to develop and apply new decision-support technology to evaluate land management strategies over whole landscapes for multiple ecosystem services. The project could potentially involve a range of techniques including landscape modelling, land use optimisation, scenario analysis, generation of data on ecosystem service benefits, regional climate modelling, and elicitation of information from experts. The successful candidate will focus on the intensive agricultural zone of continental Australia, with particular focus on the Brigalow Belt bioregion of Queensland. There will also be opportunities to be involved in projects undertaken in Central Kalimantan and British Columbia.

Candidates from diverse disciplines are welcome to apply. Successful applicants will have a demonstrated capacity and aptitude for conducting research and it is desirable that they possess or seek to obtain skills in ecological and economic modelling, and spatial and statistical analysis. The candidate will work jointly with scientists across multiple disciplines (including biodiversity conservation, geography, environmental science and environmental economics) at The University of Queensland, CSIRO and University of British Columbia. The supervisory team will include: Assoc Prof Kerrie Wilson (UQ), Prof Clive McAlpine (UQ), Dr Elizabeth Law (UQ/UBC), and Dr Brett Bryan (CSIRO).

Prospective PhD applicants should also apply for or be the recipient of an APA (or equivalent) scholarship. Interested students should provide a professional CV and a short letter of interest to Assoc Prof Kerrie Wilson (k.wilson2@uq.edu.au).

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