PhD scholarship to work on agricultural landscapes

University of Tasmania
University of Tasmania in Hobart, and field sites across Tasmania
Apply for PhD stipend
Jun 20, 2019
Aug 15, 2019
Job Level
Entry level
Employment Type

PhD project:  – Linking environment with production in agricultural landscapes

Globally, there is a conflict between the economy and environment. Evidence-based, economic analyses of the value of biodiverse ecosystems to sustainability, profitability and non-financial benefits in agricultural landscapes are sparse. Tasmania provides an outstanding natural laboratory for testing ecologically functional and profitable agricultural landscapes. It has a unique and threatened biodiversity, substantive prior investment in biodiversity conservation and new irrigation schemes for supporting agriculture. This transdisciplinary project aims to measure profitability and benefits of ecosystem services and impacts on ecosystem function across a gradient of agricultural intensification within the Tasmanian Midlands. 

The project will quantify the structure and function of grassy woodland ecosystems across an intensification gradient, accounting for farm-level inputs of water, fertilizer and energy and farm yield. To assess the ecological values of woodland patches and riparian (bankside) zones, we will use high resolution UAV photogrammetry to create 3D maps of the landscape. Ecosystem function and services will be measured by quantifying the soil microbiome, and nutrient and energy flux in streams. The project results will provide the framework for understanding biodiversity responses to agricultural intensification and for creating functional ecosystems in agricultural landscapes. The findings will contribute to a better understanding of the role of ecosystems in underpinning and enhancing the prosperity and well-being of landowners.


The following eligibility criteria apply to this scholarship:

  • The scholarship is open to Australian and New Zealand (domestic) candidates and to International candidates.
  • Research must be undertaken on a full-time basis.
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first-class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.

Selection criteria:

  • A good understanding of the field of ecology.
  • High level quantitative skills.
  • Good written and verbal scientific communication skills.
  • Ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary research team.
  • Proven ability to work individually in remote locations including supervising volunteer field assistants. Current driving licence, prefer manual.

How to Apply:

See the following web page for entry requirements:

Applicants should contact the Primary Supervisor Claire Horner at to submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the University of Tasmania Apply Now website.