HDR Scholarship - Effects of restoration and management on wetland decomposition

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Effects of restoration and management on wetland decomposition'.

Research topic

Wetland ecosystems provide important services, including enhancing biodiversity, filtering pollutants and sequestering greenhouse gases. However, continued wetland degradation and loss pose a serious threat to the ecological, socioeconomic and climate-buffering services they provide to Australians. By examining the factors that have the potential to maximise wetland carbon preservation and sequestration, the project addresses government-identified priorities for research on climate change and soil health.

This research will enable the identification of the conditions that maximise carbon sequestration, the understanding of the impact that management and restoration efforts have on current and future soil carbon preservation, and improved capacity and accuracy to predict carbon responses to environmental change. The outcomes can be utilised by Australian climate modellers, land managers, soil and wetland ecologists, and local communities to improve the evaluation of wetland ecosystem function, health and services.

This research is partially funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council. Dr Stacey Trevathan-Tackett is the recipient of an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Award (project number DE210101029) funded by the Australian Government.

Research Environment: The PhD candidate will be principally supervised by DECRA fellow Dr Stacey Trevathan-Tackett and will work within Deakin University’s Blue Carbon Lab, led by A/Prof. Peter Macreadie, the School of Life and Environmental Sciences and the Centre for Integrative Ecology. The position is based in the Melbourne/Burwood Campus, with opportunities to travel to other campuses, including the Queenscliff Marine Research Station.

Project aim

The PhD candidate will investigate how wetland restoration and management influences a key part of the carbon cycle – plant litter decomposition. It is a multidisciplinary project that combines microbial ecology, biogeochemistry and wetland ecology. This work sits within a larger research program investigating global wetland decomposition, TeaComposition H2O.

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Monday 15 February 2021


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $28,600 per annum tax exempt (2021 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate or overseas

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be either a domestic or international candidate currently residing in Australia (domestic includes candidates with Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Residency or New Zealand Citizenship).
  • 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.

Additional desirable criteria include:

The scholarship would suit a highly-motivated candidate with an interest in coastal and freshwater wetland ecology, biogeochemistry and/or microbial ecology. We are looking for a candidate who is independent and works well in an interdisciplinary team environment. Excellent written communication skills are desired. A driver’s license is required for the fieldwork component. Selection will be based on prior academic experience.

How to apply

Interested applicants should contact via email Dr Stacey Trevathan-Tackett and send in your CV and a cover letter outlining your research interests and experience and why you want to do this PhD. Please include contact details for two referees. Before applying for the project. Applicants invited to submit a full application should follow the instructions on the How to apply page.

Find out more

Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Dr Stacey Trevathan-Tackett

Dr Stacey Trevathan-Tackett
Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Email Stacey Trevathan-Tackett