© 2015 by Griffith Wildlife Disease Ecology Group

 

Opportunities

 

We are a rapidly expanding team studying wildlife disease ecology.

 

We are enthusiastic about collaborating with researchers (or prospective researchers) from both within Australia and around the world. We run weekly team meetings and welcome guests at these meetings. 

 

From time to time opportunities may arise for new members to join our team as volunteers and students (Special Project, Honours or PhD students). We also have occasional opportunities for employing new staff members (post-doctoral research fellows or above). Please see below for details.

 

If you'd like to join our team meetings as a guest, potentially start a collaboration with our team, or are looking for student or employment opportunities, please don't hesitate to contact us

Join our team as a volunteer! Exciting frog and bat field work opportunities!

We are seeking enthusiastic volunteers from around eastern Australia (QLD and NSW) to assist us with our fieldwork on frogs and bats. Please visit our volunteer Facebook sites via the links to the right for more details. 

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Exciting research opportunities - for PhD, Honours & Special Research Projects!

PhD Project: "Understanding resistance and tolerance to chytrid fungal disease in amphibians to improve conservation"

Supervisors: Dr. David Newell (Forest Research Centre, Southern Cross University), Dr. Laura Grogan and Prof. Hamish McCallum (EFRI, Griffith Wildlife Disease Ecology Group). For more detail about our team, please visit our Frog Research Team website

 

Project: Wildlife are in peril. Chytridiomycosis (caused by aquatic fungal agent Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) is the most devastating disease threat to biodiversity ever recorded. It has caused the decline and extinction of hundreds of frog species around the world. This project investigates the population and infection dynamics of chytrid fungal disease in frogs. It aims to discover mechanisms by which frogs can either resist or tolerate chytrid infections, to help with population and species recovery. 

You will have the opportunity to make a direct conservation impact by working with endangered frog species of eastern Australia. You will be working with endangered Fleay’s barred frogs (Mixophyes fleayi) in the lab. You will also have the opportunity to undertake fieldwork and to develop modelling skills. 

Funding and Eligibility: The project is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant plus other grants. For more details, please see our Amphibian Chytridiomycosis page

Applicants will need to obtain a living allowance scholarship (AU$27,596 per annum) to undertake a PhD with us, via application for the competitive Southern Cross University Postgraduate Research Scholarship. To be eligible and competitive you need to have First Class Honours or equivalent. 

 

The application requires a written project proposal (to be discussed with potential supervisors in advance of the application). 

To apply: Submit your CV to Dr. David Newell (david.newell@scu.edu.au) by 23rd September, 2019 with the subject line “PhD application”.

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Honours Project: "Tadpoles as reservoirs of the lethal frog chytrid fungal disease"

Supervisors: Dr. Laura Grogan and Prof. Hamish McCallum (EFRI, Griffith Wildlife Disease Ecology Group), Dr. David Newell (Forest Research Centre, Southern Cross University)

 

Project: The amphibian fungal skin disease, chytridiomycosis, has caused more declines and species extinctions around the world than any other disease ever recorded. Although tadpoles usually do not die from the disease, they can act as a source of infection for recently metamorphosed frogs.

This project will investigate the role of tadpoles as a reservoir host for the fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. The project involves fieldwork and/or laboratory work with tadpoles and frogs of the endangered Fleay’s barred frog (Mixophyes fleayi) and sympatric species. We usually test for infection on tadpoles and frogs using sterile cotton-tipped skin swabs (for more details, see https://www.mccallum-disease-ecology.com/single-post/2018/09/06/First-frogs-of-the-season).

This project is part of more extensive research funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant and involves a team of researchers (including PhD candidates and post-docs) and a diverse network of collaborators. Please see our team website (Griffith Wildlife Disease Ecology Group: www.mccallum-disease-ecology.com) for more information, or volunteer with us (https://www.facebook.com/groups/FrogWorkVolunteers/).

 

Start date: Trimesters 1, 2 or 3, 2019; Contact: l.grogan@griffith.edu.au

Honours Project: "Frogs - occupancy surveys,   modelling and SDMs"

Supervisors: Dr. Laura Grogan and Prof. Hamish McCallum (EFRI, Griffith Wildlife Disease Ecology Group), Dr. David Newell (Forest Research Centre, Southern Cross University)

 

Project: The mountain rainforests around south-east QLD and north-east NSW are a local hotspot for amphibians, with > 40 frog species being found here. However, amphibians are in peril – they are the most endangered vertebrate class, suffering a multitude of threats including habitat loss, disease, pollution, climate change, and invasive species. Seven species of Australian frogs have become extinct since the 1970s due to disease alone, three of them in this region. Unfortunately, lack of funding has precluded effective monitoring of these populations since 2008.

This project aims to survey amphibian populations across this region to improve our understanding of the conservation status of these frog species, comparing current data with historical data. The collected data will be analysed via occupancy modelling and species distribution modelling.

The project will involve extensive fieldwork (primarily via stream transects) to a range of sites around the region, accompanied by commenced PhD candidate, Thais Sasso Lopes. This project is part of more extensive research funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant and involves a team of researchers (including PhD candidates and post-docs) and a diverse network of collaborators. Please see our team website (Griffith Wildlife Disease Ecology Group: www.mccallum-disease-ecology.com) for more information, or volunteer with us (https://www.facebook.com/groups/FrogWorkVolunteers/).

 

Start date: Trimesters 1, 2 or 3, 2019; Contact: l.grogan@griffith.edu.au

3922ESC Special Research Project:

"Rainforest BioCondition Assessment"

Supervisors: Dr. Laura Grogan and Prof. Hamish McCallum (EFRI, Griffith Wildlife Disease Ecology Group), Dr. David Newell (Forest Research Centre, Southern Cross University)

Project: Rainforest ecosystems are among the most biodiverse environments on Earth. Although covering only 2% of the global surface area, they house 50% of the world’s plant and vertebrate species. However, there are numerous threats to the integrity of these ecosystems, including land-clearing, fragmentation, invasive species, pollution and climate change. The aim of this project is to examine the vegetation structure and condition of a range of subtropical rainforest sites around south-east QLD and north-east NSW, comparing sites with varying altitude, aspect, slope and proximity to cleared land, to better understand the characteristics affecting rainforest integrity.

 

This project will directly assist with understanding habitat characteristics of the endangered Fleay’s barred frog, as part of more extensive research funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant. This larger project involves a team of researchers (including PhD candidates and post-docs) and a diverse network of collaborators. The student will have the opportunity to assist with other aspects of this project (including amphibian surveys). Please see our team website (Griffith Wildlife Disease Ecology Group: www.mccallum-disease-ecology.com) for more information.

 

Start date: Trimesters 1, 2 or 3, 2019

Contact: l.grogan@griffith.edu.au

3922ESC Special Research Project:

"Rainforest stream habitat assessment"

Supervisors: Dr. Laura Grogan and Prof. Hamish McCallum (EFRI, Griffith Wildlife Disease Ecology Group), Dr. David Newell (Forest Research Centre, Southern Cross University)

Project: Rainforest streams are highly variable environments providing important habitats for amphibians, fish, insects, and an important water source for animals on the forest floor. Characteristics of the topography, stream channel and underlying bedrock play an important role in determining vegetation growth, and in turn, animal diversity. The aim of this project is to examine these various characteristics at a range of subtropical rainforest stream sites around south-east QLD and north-east NSW. Streams across a range of altitudes and types of forest will be compared to better understand the characteristics affecting amphibian habitat selection.

 

This project will directly assist with understanding stream habitat characteristics of a range of rainforest amphibians including the endangered Fleay’s barred frog, as part of more extensive research funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant. This larger project involves a team of researchers (including PhD candidates and post-docs) and a diverse network of collaborators. The student will have the opportunity to assist with other aspects of this project (including amphibian surveys). Please see our team website (Griffith Wildlife Disease Ecology Group: www.mccallum-disease-ecology.com) for more information.

 

Start date: Trimesters 1, 2 or 3, 2019

 

Contact: l.grogan@griffith.edu.au