The Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE)is a research institute within Western Sydney University. HIE has rapidly become a research leader in environmental and ecological research, with a strong reputation for delivering research outcomes of the highest quality. HIE is home to a team of over 50 academic research scientists and more than 80 PhD students, with access to a unique suite of world-class research facilities.
We are looking for a highly motivated and qualified candidate for a 3-year PhD program of research commencing in 2019. This studentship is part of an exciting new research programme established under the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage ‘Saving Our Species’ initiative, investigating the adaptive capacity of threatened species and ecological communities to climate change.
This project aims to quantify the genomic adaptation of woody plants to climate and droughts. Rare species are thought to have limited capacity to respond to climate change in part due to narrow climatic distributions. Given increasing documentation of drought impacts on natural forests, an understanding of the underlying genetic variation determining physiological tolerance to drought is urgently needed for trees. The proposal will develop genomic predictions of drought tolerance in eucalypts through a comparative physiological and genomic approach. Importantly, this research will estimate the vulnerability of rare species to the increased frequency and intense of droughts under climate change. The outcomes will quantifying adaptive capacity in rare trees to prioritise conservation efforts and improve adaptive management strategies.
The position is based at the Hawkesbury Campus of Western Sydney University, Richmond, NSW. The candidate will work in collaboration with the University of New England and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (Science Division and NPWS) to achieve key fundamental and applied outcomes in evolutionary ecology and conservation biology.