Drivers and consequences of novel marine ecological communities

Project opportunity

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

The PhD project will contribute to a program of research that aims to provide a foundational understanding of novel community emergence in marine taxa. The PhD project is flexible, but could focus on: 1) identifying how often novel communities emerge, in the past and present, and the contribution and interplay of environmental and biological drivers; 2) identifying the frequency of novel community emergence during pre-human periods, examining global trends over long periods of time; 3) investigating mechanistic evidence of potential drivers of novel community emergence, both taxonomic and functional; or 4) any combination of these aims or other complementary ones. This project is a valuable and timely opportunity to explore an unstudied aspect of marine ecological change, with results that provide tangible benefits to both ecological knowledge and on-the-ground ecosystem management.

Scholarship value

As a scholarship recipient, you'll receive: 

  • living stipend of $28,854 per annum tax free (2022 rate), indexed annually
  • tuition fees covered
  • single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)


Professor John Pandolfi

School of Biological Sciences


Preferred educational background

Your application will be assessed on a competitive basis.

We take into account your

  • previous academic record
  • publication record
  • honours and awards
  • employment history.

A working knowledge of macro ecology and associated statistical modelling, including working knowledge of 'R' would be of benefit to someone working on this project. We are looking for an applicant who is committed to testing foundational concepts in ecological theory and their application to issues of global environmental significance.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of ecology, marine ecology and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of modelling in statistical ecology is highly desirable.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 3, 2024. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date.

If you are an international applicant, you may need to apply much earlier for visa requirements.

How to apply

You apply for this project as part of your PhD program application.

View application process