Two fully-funded PhD position are available to work in our group on themes broadly related to evolutionary ecology and health. Using species of Daphnia and their associated pathogens as powerful experimental model, the successful candidates will work closely with Matt and his collaborators to develop projects that explore any one of the following eco-evolutionary processes (or even suggest another…)
1) Sexual antagonism and the evolution of health and fitness. Exploring how new mutations arise and influence different aspects of an organism’s health. Can blend together both theory and empirical approaches to exploring genetic architecture as interests dictate (together with Tim Connallon at Monash, http://timconnallon.com/).
2) Energy flux and the spread of disease. The rate at which organisms use, transform, and expend energy defines not only an organism’s “pace of life”, but also how readily that can be exploited by a pathogen. Advances in high-throughput metabolic assays offer opportunities to incorporate energy flux into studies of host-pathogen coevolution (together with Dustin Marshall and the Centre for Geometric Biology at Monash, https://cgb.org.au/).
3) Demography and host-pathogen interactions. Populations are rarely stable and different densities or growth trajectories can feed back into the spread of disease within and between patches. Experimental mesocosms offer opportunities to explore infectious disease in light of different demographic dynamics (Together with Ben Phillips at the University of Melbourne, https://blphillipsresearch.wordpress.com/).
A stipend (living-allowance) scholarship of ~$26,288 per annum is provided tax free (the equivalent of approx. $33,000 before tax) with no teaching requirements for 3.5 years (the length of a PhD in Australia). We also offer travel and establishment allowances to help in your move and our tuition scholarships cover the cost of tuition fees (normally $38,900 per year). Guaranteed funding of project costs and research support, including the costs of attending at least one conference per year, is included.
Project start dates can be any time in late 2017 onwards.
To be eligible, pplicants must have completed a 4 year degree with a research component or have post-graduate research experience in ecology, genetics, behaviour, or evolution (or will do by the end of the year). Preference will be given to those with strong quantitative skills and publications in international journals. Interested students should send a CV and a brief statement of interests to Matt via firstname.lastname@example.org.