A perimeter defence in Australian processionary caterpillars

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.

Supervisor – Professor Myron Zaluckim.zalucki@uq.edu.au

Microscopic, detachable hairs on processionary caterpillars cause clinical reactions when they enter the skin or internal tissues of humans and animals. There is a time delay between exposure and the most serious effects, inferring an action more complex than simple irritation. The project aims to test a novel mechanism – how the hairs form a perimeter defence around caterpillars that primes the immune system of potential predators, how these hairs function within the layered caterpillar defensive system and how far setae can disperse. The research will inform relevant authorities and in particular veterinarians of the risks being exposed to processionary caterpillar hairs and add to the theory of predator-prey interaction.

Preferred educational background

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant's previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

A working knowledge of entomology, chemistry, molecular biology and handling small mammals would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

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

A background or knowledge of working with mice is highly desirable.

*The successful candidate must commence by Research Quarter 2, 2022. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date. International applicants may need to apply much earlier for visa reasons.

Apply now