Genetic assessment of threats to platypus due to river modification

Genetic assessment of threats to platypus due to river modification, PhD Opportunity

The iconic platypus is classed as ‘near-threatened’ despite its wide distribution in Eastern Australia. The genetic work forms part of a larger ARC-funded project to assess and model threats and then to implement decision analyses that focus effective conservation actions. Two Positions are available, one at UNSW Australia, the other at the University of Sydney. In the project at UNSW, the PhD student will use genetic methods to assess population structure and movements, in platypus upstream and downstream, in pairs of rivers with different levels of artificial fragmentation. In the project at Univ. Sydney, the PhD student will assess variation at a number of genes that might affect platypus adaptation to changing conditions in the rivers. For both positions, desirable experience includes molecular labwork (eg next-generation sequencing, microsatellites, mitochondrial DNA), genetic analysis (eg bioinformatics, population genetic analysis), and fieldwork.

A full driver’s licence is desirable.

PROCEDURE: (1) Email letter with CV, academic record, and details of two academic referees, to Prof Bill Sherwin ( +61-2-9385-2119 Your letter should explain how your results are sufficient to allow application for a SCHOLARSHIP at UNSW (see below). We cannot consider other applications. (2) Once approved, you will submit a UNSW PhD CANDIDACY and SCHOLARSHIP Application. To be competitive for these scholarships, you will need to have completed a research degree (eg research year in MSc, or BSc Honours), with results which are equivalent to 85% or higher.


The current round is for citizens or permanent residents of Australia/NZ, and details, including timing, can be found at



Life history and dynamics of a platypus population
Research Programs: 
Platypus Conservation Initiative
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