PhD Scholarship: Understanding the evolution of mammal pollination in south-western Australia

Employer
La Trobe University
Location
Based in Melbourne, fieldwork in Western Australia.
Salary
PhD Scholarship
Posted
Jun 05, 2019
Closes
Aug 04, 2019
Discipline
Botany, Ecology, Mammology
Employment Type
Fellowship

Understanding the evolution of mammal pollination in the south-west Australian biodiversity hotspot and its vulnerability to landscape modification 

While Australia is a global centre for bird pollination, there is comparatively little evidence for pollination systems specialised on mammal pollination. The honey possum is a specialist nectarivore, endemic to the south-west Australian biodiversity hotspot, where they were originally common in sandplain habitats dominated by Proteaceae and Myrtaceae. While it has long been speculated that plants may be adapted specifically to pollination by honey possums, this hypothesis has never been rigorously tested. The initial aim of this project is to test for specialisation on pollination by honey possums in members of Dryandra, a clade of Banksiathat exhibits multiple evolutions of the unusual prostrate flowers thought to be associated with mammal pollination. Secondly, we aim to investigate how resilient this pollination strategy is to anthropogenic landscape modification, given that many prostrate Dryandraare rare local endemics, including in remnant sandplain within the agricultural region. Finally, we aim to test the role of specific floral traits such as floral odour, inflorescence position, and rigid floral structure in pollination by honey possums.

A PhD student is being sought to research the ecology of potential honey possum pollination systems in Dryandra, with the flexibility to investigate issues of either conservation or floral adaptation depending on interest. A PhD scholarship for the project is available through La Trobe University. Suitable PhD students will have:

  • a Masters or strong first class honours
  • a driver’s license
  • an ability to undertake fieldwork in remote areas 
  • a willingness to undertake fieldwork interstate

This project is a collaboration between Dr Ryan Phillips (La Trobe University, Melbourne), Dr Susan Hoebee (La Trobe University, Melbourne), and Dr Rob Davis (Edith Cowan University, Perth). 

Contact Ryan Phillips for further information R.Phillips@latrobe.edu.au

Apply for PhD Scholarship: Understanding the evolution of mammal pollination in south-western Australia

Already uploaded your resume? Sign in to apply instantly

Apply

Upload from your computer

Or import from cloud storage

Your Resume must be a .doc, .pdf, .docx, .rtf, and no bigger than 1Mb


4000 characters left

Marketing Communication

We'd love to send you information about Jobs and Services from SCB Careers by email.

All emails will contain a link in the footer to enable you to unsubscribe at any time.


When you apply for a job we will send your application to the named recruiter, who may contact you. By applying for a job listed on SCB Careers you agree to our terms and conditions and privacy policy. You should never be required to provide bank account details. If you are, please email us.

We take steps to guard against artificial job postings, but scammers are known to target job sites to trick users into applying for fake jobs. Please notify us if you see job postings that looks suspicious or do not fit the content of this site. We encourage users to review prospective employers before sharing personal information with them or applying for positions.