PhD Scholarship: Aquatic Predator Ecology in Tropical Rivers


Charles Darwin University


Casurina Campus, Darwin, NT

  • Are you interested in aquatic predator ecology and doing research in biodiverse tropical rivers?

The PhD project: ‘River flows and predator trophic ecology in tropical river-floodplains of northern Australia’

The free-flowing rivers of northern Australia support a diverse assemblage of aquatic predators. Predators range from barramundi and saratoga, to salt-water crocodiles, bull sharks, threatened river sharks and sawfish. The connectivity and production of food resources supporting predator populations is largely driven by dry and wet-season river flow regimes which can be anticipated to be modified by climate change and possible water resource development.

This PhD project will explore links between river-floodplain flow regimes and the trophic ecology, biomass production and distribution of abundant and threatened aquatic predators in northern Australia. This project aims to improve our understanding of how northern Australia’s aquatic ecosystems may change as a result of climate change and possible water resource development.

The candidate will be expected to develop a research program incorporating field sampling of biological tissues from predator assemblages, in systems such as the Roper River, and/or be expected to develop statistical models using existing data to inform fisheries, threatened species or river management.

Women and people from minority backgrounds, and with an interest in predator ecology and remote field work, or developing statistical modelling skills are especially encouraged to apply.

Opportunities and support to learn statistical modelling skills will be facilitated by a partnership between CDU and CSIRO Land and Water – Modelling Water Ecosystems group.


This PhD project will be supervised by Dr R Keller Kopf and Associate Prof. Hamish Campbell at Charles Darwin University, and by Dr. Danial Stratford (Senior Experimental Scientist – Ecological Modelling) at CSIRO Land & Water, who currently leads research activities exploring the environmental outcomes of flow regime change in northern Australia.


The position will be based at Charles Darwin University, Casuarina campus in Darwin, with travel required to CSIRO Land & Water in Canberra, and occasional remote field work in the Northern Territory.

Scholarships available:

Domestic Research Training Stipend ($28,092) + CSIRO Land & Water top-up ($7000 per annum), and operating ($10,000 per annum)


To be eligible to apply you must have (or expect to gain):

  • First class honours or equivalent in a relevant research area;
  • Must be an Australian or New Zealand permanent resident or citizen

Please note research experience in the form of publications may be used to increase an honours score or honours equivalency.

How to apply:

View details

Date published:


Closing date:


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