HDR Scholarship - Marine biosecurity and network modelling

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Marine biosecurity and network modelling'.

Project Supervisor


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus

Research topic

Effective biosecurity is critical to protect the New Zealand’s unique marine biodiversity and the enormous cultural, social and economic value we derive from it. Deakin University, in collaboration with Cawthron Institute (New Zealand), is seeking a PhD candidate to augment a new, five year research programme that will develop improved tools for the prevention, detection and management of marine pest incursions.

Cawthron Institute is New Zealand's largest independent science organisation and has a proven national and international reputation for enterprise, innovation and excellence in science. Based in Nelson, New Zealand, we employ more than 270 highly qualified scientists and technical experts from more than 25 different countries. Our Biosecurity Team undertakes ecological experiments, molecular tool development, antifouling research, risk assessment modelling and social science to underpin the understanding and management of risks marine pests and diseases pose to New Zealand and international regions.

Project aim

Movements of vessels, aquaculture stock and equipment and other maritime infrastructure are principal pathways for the spread of non‐indigenous marine species. Every day, hundreds of recreational, merchant, passenger, fishing and aquaculture vessels transit between New Zealand’s ports, marinas, urban coastal centres, aquaculture farms, marine reserves and iconic natural and culturally significant coastal areas, creating a complex maritime transport network.

Understanding the dynamics of this network and its ability to facilitate the spread of non‐indigenous species in space and time will enable regulators and industry to implement meaningful approaches to prevention and management of biosecurity risks. This PhD project will assist with the development of a maritime network model for New Zealand, and the use of this model for simulating incursion and response scenarios to facilitate the development of optimised risk mitigation strategies.

Important dates

Applications will remain open until a candidate has been appointed


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $28,092 per annum tax exempt (2020 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate or overseas
  • International students only:  Tuition fees offset for the duration of four years. Single Overseas Student Health Cover policy for the duration of the student visa.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be either a domestic or international candidate
  • meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements
  • be enrolling full time and hold an honours degree (first class) or an equivalent standard master's degree with a substantial research component.

Please refer to the research degree entry pathways page for further information.

How to apply

For more information on this opportunity, please contact Dr Eric Treml.

Please attach a CV, names of three referees, and academic transcripts to expressions of interest.


Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Dr Eric Treml

Dr Eric Treml
Senior Lecturer, Fisheries Science
Email Eric Treml
+61 3 522 78756