PhD Scholarship: Groundwater dependent ecosystems


Macquarie University





Groundwater is essential to subterranean ecosystems, wetlands and terrestrial vegetation that access groundwater. Together, these interlinked ecosystems sustain substantial biodiversity and provide valuable services such as the provision of clean water which is vital for rural communities and industries.

This project will examine the relationships between groundwater quality and ecosystem health, and the condition of wetlands and native terrestrial vegetation in the Murray Darling Basin. This is the first step of a larger project in collaboration with NSW Department of Planning and Environment and will explore the changes of ecosystem conditions as the climate transitions from a La Nina (wet) to El Nino (dry) conditions.

The project will require extensive fieldwork to collect and analyse groundwater biota, and assess the health and condition of wetlands and native vegetation. There is considerable scope within this project to explore particular aspects of terrestrial, wetland and groundwater ecology or relationships between ecology and hydrology that are of interest to the candidate. Candidates will develop skills in areas including the analysis of environmental DNA, vegetation and wetland condition assessment, GIS, water isotopes and statistical modelling and analyses. The project will provide knowledge directly to inform state government policy and will include opportunities for an internship with government agencies.

Two scholarships are available. Candidates focus on a largely independent project with direct outcomes to improving environmental management and conservation of GDEs. Each project will provide opportunities for the candidates to work closely with industry partners, which may include an internship, and as part of an established and successful research team. The projects will require excellent communication skills to build relationships with landowners, land managers and other stakeholders. An excellent candidate will be able to build their research track record for a broad range of professional futures including academia, industry, non-government and government organisations.


Date published:


Closing date:

open until filled