Photo: Kristian Bell

PhD Opportunity: Modelling species range dynamics (University of Melbourne)

Closes 26 October

We seek applications from highly motivated and qualified candidates for a PhD program in the Quantitative & Applied Ecology Group (QAECO), University of Melbourne. We are looking for a student interested in conducting research on methods for modelling species range dynamics. The project will build on ongoing research within the group aimed at testing alternative range dynamics modelling tools via simulation. The PhD project could involve investigating how well these different methods work under a broad range of scenarios and investigating and developing efficient survey designs for applying different approaches to conservation problems. The student would also be encouraged to develop innovative lines of enquiry of their own. A successful candidate would ideally start early/mid 2021, and will be co-supervised by Dr Gurutzeta Guillera-Arroita, Dr Nat Briscoe, and Prof. Jane Elith.

Applicants must possess a Bachelor’s degree with first-class Honours or a Master’s degree in a relevant discipline. As the research will develop at the interface between ecology and statistical modelling and simulation, desirable candidates include ecologists with skills in statistical modelling/programming, as well as statisticians and computer scientists with strong interest in ecological applications. Experience programming in R or equivalent will be an advantage, as is demonstrated ability to plan and conduct research independently. The successful candidate must secure a scholarship through the University of Melbourne (RTP or MRS), which provides fee remission and a tax-free annual living allowance worth $31,200 (2020 full-time study rate) for up to 3.5 years.

At QAECO (, we are a diverse group sharing a passion for ecology and conservation, keen to develop, test and apply quantitative tools to support environmental decisions and the study of natural systems. As an enthusiastic and involved student in QAECO, you will be provided with opportunities to develop your research program, including attending conferences, visiting relevant research groups and obtaining support for fieldwork (if required).

– First of all, send a one-page statement outlining your research background, interests and ideas, together with a CV, academic transcript and contact details for 2 academic references to Gurutzeta (
– Then, if selected as our preferred candidate, you will have to submit an official application to the University (for the PhD program and scholarship). Information about the official application procedure can be found here:

Please, note that the deadline for scholarship applications is quite imminent so, if interested, contact Gurutzeta to discuss details about this opportunity immediately. We will make our decision as soon as we identify a suitable candidate. Due to the COVID19 situation, we will prioritise students who are already located in Australia.

Scholarship deadlines in 2020:
• 31 October 2020 (Australian or New Zealand citizens or Australian permanent residents)
• 30 September 2020 (international applicants)

For more information, contact Gurutzeta Guillera (

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