PhD: Roos on the Move: Understanding Kangaroo Movement for Improved Conservation


The University of Adelaide



Project summary

Overabundant macropods are a major environmental, agricultural and economic challenge across Australia’s arid rangelands. Conservation reserves are no exception to this challenge and must effectively mitigate the impacts of macropods on key threatened species and ecosystems, whilst ensuring that management is humane and evidence-based.

This project will work across three large and remote conservation reserves in South Australia, Bon Bon, Boolcoomatta, and Evelyn Downs Reserve; all owned and managed by Bush Heritage Australia. Specifically, the project will investigate the movement ecology of kangaroos as it relates directly to their applied management.

The project will involve the collection, management and analysis of large, GPS-based datasets to address key questions around the influence of landscape features, artificial water points, drought and control on kangaroo movement. Additional, creative and applied questions are encouraged. 

Supervisory team  

The project supervisory team spans academia, not-for-profit and industry, and includes Dr Pat Taggart (Bush Heritage Australia & University of Adelaide, general ecologist), Dr Stephan Leu (University of Adelaide, behavioural ecologist, movement ecology, animal tracking), and Dr. Steven McLeod (NSW Government, kangaroo ecologist).


We are seeking a highly motivated, practical candidate. The candidate should have a strong ability and desire to drive their research. Data collection for the project will be on the three conservation reserves in remote South Australia, mentioned above. During the data collection seasons, the successful candidate will need to be able to be away from home and at these reserves for several weeks at a time.

The project will generate large and multi-faceted datasets which require good analytical skills. The candidate should have a keen interest in developing good analytical skills during their PhD (e.g. coding in R). The ability to work and communicate effectively in a team is a must. Unfortunately, we can only accept domestic applicants at this stage.


The candidate must be successful in receiving a University of Adelaide PhD scholarship ($34,210 annually tax-free). The project additionally offers a $10,000 top-up scholarship to the successful candidate and has a large portion of project funds secured.


Successful completion of Honours or Masters Degree in a related field.


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