PhD opportunity: Understanding Population Connectivity and Demographic Expansion of Introduced Chital Deer


James Cook University


Townsville, Queensland

In Australia, introduced deer species present a major threat to agriculture and the environment through competition for forage, as vectors of disease, damage to crops, modification of vegetation structure and composition, dispersal of weeds, and as a road hazard.

Given that several Australian deer populations are currently expanding in abundance and geographic range, it is imperative that scientists understand how, when, and why these expansions occur.

The project

This ARC funded project proposes to use population genomics to determine current patterns of population connectivity, investigate historical patterns of population expansion, and understand how landscape and environmental variables influence gene flow.

This PhD project will employ the latest genomic and bioinformatics techniques in order to investigate connectivity, demography, and adaptation in Chital deer in North Queensland, Australia. Opportunities for field work will be available.

The student will be based in the College of Science and Engineering at James Cook University, Townsville, Australia (under the supervision of Assoc Prof Jan Strugnell, Dr Ben Hirsch, and Prof Lin Schwarzkopf) and supported by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant.

The student will work closely with stakeholders from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Queensland) and the Department of Primary Industry and Resources (NSW).


Applicants must be competitive for an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA). Domestic applicants should have a First Class Honours (or equivalent) in biological science or a related field, while international applicants should have a Masters by Research.

Preference will be given to those applicants with previous experience in genetics and/or evidence of strong technical and laboratory skills. Journal publications in these fields are desirable but not essential. Students must apply by July 31, 2020 to commence early 2021.

Please note that an opportunity also exists to commence the PhD project in 2020 for domestic students or international students currently residing in Australia. In this instance please apply by 30 June, 2020.

Funding: $28,092 p.a. for 3.5 years (tax exempt), comprising an APA stipend (2020 rate). Field and laboratory expenses will be supported by the broader project.

How to apply:

View details

Date published:


Closing date:


NRMjobs Notice 20005680 - Online seminar: Strengthening Cross-Sector Collaboration
NRMjobs Notice 20005546 - Survey: Capturing the views of NRM professionals after COVID-19
NRMjobs Notice 20003808 - Ecology & Heritage Partners
NRMjobs Notice 20005573 - Short course: Natural Resources & Indigenous Livelihoods - 14-18 September, 2020
NRMjobs Notice 20004808 - 12th International Conference and Workshop on Lobster Biology & Management
NRMjobs Notice 20004539 - Australasian Seed Science Conference - postponed to 5-9 September 2021
NRMjobs Notice 20005693 - Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle Research Fund - 2020 grants round
NRMjobs Notice 20005602 - Coast to Coast Conference, Cairns, 26 - 29 July 2021