Photo: Kristian Bell

PhD scholarship on the response of native mammals to the “Black Summer” bushfires (University of Newcastle)

Closing 30 March

Two (2) PhD projects are available within the Conservation Science Research Group of the University of Newcastle’s School of Environmental and Life Sciences to study the impact of the ‘Black Summer’ fires on threatened species under the supervision of Matt Hayward, John Clulow and Andrea Griffin (Newcastle), and Karl Vernes (UNE), with expert input from Peter Fleming, Guy Ballard and Paul Meek (DPI), Kersten Tuckey (SoS – DPIE) and Ninon Meyer (Freiburg).

The projects aim to understand the impacts of the 2019/20 bushfires on a suite of mammal species likely to have been impacted. Over 70% of the distribution of parma wallabies burnt, and a substantial proportion of the greater glider, long-nosed potoroo, short-eared possum, and red-legged pademelon’s distribution also burnt. Understanding the population dynamics, habitat use, survivorship, movement patterns, corridor use, diet, and stress of these species in recently burnt and long unburnt areas will be key to identify optimal management options.

The projects will involve extensive field work in the forests of north-eastern NSW (incl. Mt Hyland Nature Reserve, Gibraltar Range National Park, Barrington Tops National Park) involving camera trapping, physical trapping, GPS telemetry and habitat/corridor analyses.

Funding details

The Australian Research Council has provided funding via a Linkage Grant in association with support from the NSW Saving our Species program to fund the PhD scholarships and field costs.


This scholarship is suited to a student with a first class or upper second class honours degree in the sciences, and an interest and ideally experience working in remote, bushland conditions; on threatened species; in cooperation with conservation managers. They students would also benefit from ecological modelling/analysis skills, or a willingness to learn these. Sadly, this scholarship is only available to Australian citizens or residents. Visit the higher degree by research scholarships website for further information about eligibility criteria ( The closing date is the 30th of March 2021.

Application procedure

Expressions of interest should include a cover letter explaining your honours research, experience with field ecology and in remote conditions, understanding of threatened species conservation issues, and ecological modelling (mark-recapture/occupancy/habitat suitability modelling); a copy of your academic record; and a curriculum vitae (cv). If you have any questions about your EOI, please contact Matt Hayward (

Contact:  Matt Hayward          Ph.: +61 2 4921 7472

For a downloadable pdf, click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *