Project: When larval reef fishes return to the reef most do not survive, limiting the number that can recruit into the broader population. Reef fishes play an important role in maintaining the health of coral reefs and supporting resilience and so we need to we understand what mediates post-settlement survival, how survival is affected by changing conditions on reefs, and explore new ways to enhance this process. This PhD project will test novel ways and methods of enhancing the survival of reef fishes at a critical early life stage, including examining the feasibility of using these techniques to enhance coral reef restoration efforts and reef resilience. It will also explore new aspects of learning and cognition in fishes, with implications for our understanding of predator-prey interactions and behaviour.
Eligibility: Competitive applicants will have advanced training in evolution and ecology and demonstrated research experience in behavioural and sensory ecology or a related field. The candidate should be willing to undertake marine field work and have a keen interest in coral reef fishes and reef restoration. A willingness to SCUBA dive and spend extended periods working remotely is required.
Location: Successful applicants will be based at the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre, Perth under the primary supervision of Dr Jan Hemmi ([email protected]) and co supervised by Dr Rohan Brooker([email protected]) and Dr Martial Depczynski (Australian Institute of Marine Science).
This project is part of the Reef Song Project, co-funded by the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and BHP as part of the Australian Coral Reef Resilience Initiative (ACRRI). ACRRI brings together novel research from two World Heritage sites, Ningaloo and the Great Barrier Reef, to develop the knowledge, skills and tools required to deliver innovative solutions for the management and sustainability of Australia's coral reefs. Reef Song will explore the role of fishes in promoting resilient coral reefs, improve our understanding of reef recovery and adaptation, and develop new interventions that support reef restoration. These PHD projects are three year positions and are supported by a generous annual stipend and research budget and combine field and laboratory based research.
Equivalency to an Australian Master Degree or Bachelor Honours Degree must be completed.