Fully funded PhD opportunity: Dynamic predictive modelling of interaction risk for seabirds and marine turtles in Australian pelagic longline fisheries

Fully funded PhD opportunity: Dynamic predictive modelling of interaction risk for seabirds and marine turtles in Australian pelagic longline fisheries


Job Description


Job Title:
Fully funded PhD opportunity: Dynamic predictive modelling of interaction risk for seabirds and marine turtles in Australian pelagic longline fisheries
Accountable to:

University of the Sunshine Coast

Responsible for University of the Sunshine Coast
Scholarship value:

$28,597 per annum tax free (2021 rate), *indexed annually
*commensurate with current Research Training Scholarship base stipend rate

Location Sunshine Coast, Australia

Overview of The University of the Sunshine Coast:

We’re a young university, not limited by tradition or old ways of thinking. We strive to pass this mindset on to our students and staff.
Whether it’s building a career or pursuing a lifelong passion, connecting with your community at home or all around the world, we’re here to help you realise every opportunity.

We value your natural curiosity, your creativity, your resourcefulness, and your commitment to make an impact on the people around you.
This supportive environment sets us apart – our teachers and staff dedicated to ensuring you have the tools you need to reach your goals, whatever they may be.

We provide the hands-on learning and practical skills needed by the people of our diverse regions from Moreton Bay to the Fraser Coast: the nurses, teachers, mental health and medical professionals, environmentalists, scientists, engineers, lawyers, problem solvers, creators and creative thinkers, high-performance athletes, entrepreneurs and the leaders of tomorrow who improve the lives of people at home and abroad.

Our vision: Enriching our regions, connecting with our communities and creating opportunities for all.

Overview of the project:

Incidental bycatch of non-target and protected species is a global barrier to ecological sustainability in marine wild-capture fisheries. This project will address the underlying drivers of wildlife interactions in pelagic longline fisheries, focusing specifically on seabird and marine turtle interactions in Australia's Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery. Working in collaboration with several research partners including the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), the Remote Sensing Group at Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK and the Coastal and Regional Oceanography Laboratory at UNSW, the project will take an inter-disciplinary and data-driven approach to developing new solutions for mitigating and managing fisheries-wildlife interactions.

Using fisheries logbooks and electronic monitoring datasets in conjunction with physical data from satellite remote sensing and ocean models, the project aims to develop state-of-the-art dynamic predictive models of fisheries interaction risk for seabirds and marine turtles in East Australian waters and create interactive digital risk mapping tools for use by industry, managers, and other stakeholders.

Overview of the position:
The successful candidate will become a member of a thriving and dynamic research lab led by Dr. Kylie Scales, quantitative marine ecologist in the School of Science, Technology and Engineering at USC. The HDR scholarship is part of a wider project funded by a prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) Fellowship to Dr. Scales.

The successful candidate will join several other students and researchers working on a range of topics in marine ecology, fisheries oceanography, ecological forecasting and dynamic ocean management. The project will present opportunities to publish research findings in leading multi-disciplinary science journals, present at international conferences, travel to partner institutions overseas to work with leading researchers working in the animal tracking, biologging, satellite remote sensing and fisheries oceanography spaces and build international collaborative networks.

Ideal candidate:
The successful applicant will take a collegial and collaborative approach to working as part of a team in the research group environment. They will be adaptable, proactive and committed, and prepared to self-direct and take the lead on the development of their own research skills and outcomes. They will be prepared to seek out solutions beyond the immediate and obvious where necessary. The ideal candidate will have well-developed skills in quantitative ecology, experience with handling large datatsets, knowledge and understanding of physical oceanography, experience with animal tracking data and/or an interest in marine biodiversity and conservation. Diversity and inclusion are central to our lab’s philosophy, and principles of equity will be applied throughout the candidate selection process.

Application Process 

Click here to apply 
For questions or to submit your Expression of Interest, direct your enquiry to Dr. Kylie Scales.