News Jobs Events

Research Officer

Job No.:552003

Work type:Fixed Term

  • Full-time, fixed term role for 2 years
  • Based at either the Albury-Wodonga or Mildura campus
  • $63,521 - $86,205 per annum + up to 17% superannuation

About La Trobe

La Trobe University’s success is driven by people who are committed to making a difference. They are creative and highly motivated, pursue new ideas and create knowledge. La Trobe is one of Australia’s research leaders, and the largest provider of higher education to regional Victoria. La Trobe University turns 50 in 2017, and over the half century of its existence it has established a reputation as an innovative and accessible university, willing to take risks and take on challenges.  Our teaching and research address some of the most significant issues of our time and we’re passionate about driving change through operational excellence to benefit the communities we serve.

About the role

This position is located within The Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre within the School of Life Sciences.  The successful candidate will have a demonstrated track record in ecological research on rivers, wetlands or floodplains, with an emphasis on quantitative modelling and/or spatial sciences. They will work closely with the Director and other senior staff in contributing to new and existing projects. Relevant examples include modelling the impacts of climate-variability/change and water extraction on species distribution patterns in northeast Victoria, and understanding the effects of floodplain inundation patterns on river/wetland biota.  Specific activities will be tailored to the skills of the successful applicant. 

Skills & Experience

  • Completion of a Bachelor’s degree in the relevant discipline, and evidence of participation in higher level study relevant to discipline or professional area.
  • Experience in quantitative (statistical/process) modelling, especially integrating empirical field data with other datasets (e.g. hydrologic time-series, spatial data).  Competent in the use of R software and/or GIS (e.g. R, ESRI, QGIS).
  • Evidence of experience in research and evaluation and the ability to work effectively under limited supervision or independently.
  • A record of publications, conference papers and/or reports, or professional or technical contributions which provide evidence of research potential.


Please refer to the Position Description for other skills and experience required for this role.

PhD Opportunity at Deakin

Using citizen science to quantify the ecological benefits of environmental flows

Environmental flows aim to provide water to achieve specific outcomes such as enhanced biodiversity or to provide insurance against drying due to climate change. How those flows are delivered, how the benefits that arise from those flows are measured and the potential role for citizen science in that assessment are current areas of research worldwide. This project will quantify the ecological benefits of environmental flows from a recently decommissioned reservoir in the Painkalac River, Victoria, Australia. This will be through developing and testing a scientifically-robust regime for quantifying environmental flow benefits that includes citizen science in partnership with ecological specialists. The project is a partnership between the Centre for Regional and Rural Futures at Deakin University and Barwon Water who own and manage the reservoir. Outcomes from the project will be implemented by Barwon Water and a local community reference group, as well as inform environmental flows on other rivers where similar reservoirs are decommissioned, providing a blueprint for community involvement in river management.

The student will be supported by a Postgraduate Industry Research Scholarship, jointly provided by Deakin University and Barwon Water, as well as operational funding for the three years of the project. The student will be based at Deakin University in Waurn Ponds, in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, and will be a member of the Centre for Regional and Rural Futures, a supportive research environment with a strong focus on innovative solutions to support regional industry and environments. We are looking for a student with an aquatic ecology and/or hydrology background and an interest in community engagement or similar. Please send a CV and cover letter to Rebecca Lester (

Living, growing, landscape-scale, long-term river

Interested in regularly-updated landscape-scale, long-term river data on Australian freshwater fish and estuarine vegetation assemblages? Curious about the seasonal arrival of tropical marine fauna, or the dynamics of forest animal assemblages in relation to dingo abundance? Within this mixed bag you may care to take a punt on the nature of unfolding patterns as climatic phases develop. The website source of this information - - is likely to intrigue you with its unique depictions and trigger new paradigms when conceptualising the dynamics of biota in aquatic systems.

Keith Bishop’s interest in long-term, landscape-scale research commenced in the late 1970s with fish ecology studies within Kakadu National Park. In the late 1980s attention shifted to environmental flow investigations within the much less predictable NSW east coast rivers. For these systems it became clear that: i) the scientific community had a very poor understanding of how aquatic life responds to changing flows, and ii) this understanding could only be improved once changing river flows are related to changing patterns in key aquatic biota gathered across the landscape over long periods of time. Two long-term projects, focusing on the Hastings and Manning Rivers on the NSW Mid North Coast, provided an opportunity to gather such important data.

The website primarily aims to provide glimpses into the above datasets as they grow and develop - in this sense they can be viewed as 'living'.  Apart from increasing awareness of this information amongst colleagues, there is also hope that collaboration and other synergies may result. A more subtle motive for the development of the website, now clearer in hindsight, is the maintenance of enthusiasm to keep long-term datasets growing. The literature describes the considerable difficulties of maintaining long-term investigations. These challenges are accentuated during politically antagonistic periods – environmental dark ages - that we are currently experiencing.

Aquatic Ecologist

We are seeking candidates for an aquatic ecologist role in our Cairns or Townsville office.
Applicants should have appropriate tertiary qualifications and no less than 5 years’ relevant experience.

For more information, please use the following link

PhD position

PhD Scholarship in Food Web and Restoration Ecology (University of Canterbury, New Zealand)

The Freshwater Ecology Group (FERG, School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury) is offering one fully-funded PhD studentship in food web and restoration ecology. This is a chance for a high-calibre student to join a successful research team investigating the fundamental processes underlying resilient food webs to improve stream restoration outcomes and find solutions to freshwater management.

For more detailed information on the position please click on the following link

RA Position

The Research Assistant (Stream Ecology) is a member of the Freshwater Ecology Research Laboratory in the School of Geography and works in a team under the supervision of Dr William Bovill and Professor Barbara Downes. This position contributes to an ARC Linkage project entitled Restoring functional links between riparian zones and streams by enhancing structural retention, which is a collaboration between The University of Melbourne and major partners Melbourne Water and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. The project is investigating whether increasing the capacity of river channels to retain detritus can improve river condition and the abundance and diversity of aquatic invertebrates. The appointee provides logistical support for ecological field research, conducting ecological fieldwork and genus-species level identifications of riverine invertebrates.

For more details please click here


PHD OPPORTUNITIES: Two PhD projects with $10,000 per year top-up scholarships and additional operating funds are available through University of Western Australia. The projects are on:

(1) Fish diets and river flows in northern Australia

(2) The ecology of freshwater prawns in the Kimberley

Applications close 31st October

Contact: Prof.  Michael Douglas
Ph: 0408 467 000

Fish diets and river flows in northern Australia
This PhD project is part of an ARC–Linkage project involving the University of Western Australia, Charles Darwin University, Griffith University, the University of Washington and the Northern Territory Government. The student will apply for scholarship through UWA and will receive an additional $10,000 per year top-up stipend plus generous project operating budget. The link below includes more information about the project and the application process:


The ecology of the freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium spinipes, in the Fitzroy River, WA
This PhD project will work closely with researchers from the NESP Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub who are running a project on the environmental water requirements of the Fitzroy River. The PhD project will focus on how the ecology of freshwater prawns (Macrobrachium spinipes) varies in relation to river flows in the Fitzroy River. The student will apply for scholarship through UWA and will receive an additional $10,000 per year top-up stipend plus generous project operating budget. The link below includes more information about the project and the application process

PhD Project

PhD Project: ‘Stuffed Murray cod in pubs: trophy fish and environmental change in the Murray-Darling Basin’

The project: There is an exciting opportunity to carry out a PhD project in the School of Environmental Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Albury, on the topic of historical river ecology. You will investigate aspects of the ecological, genetic and/or cultural significance of taxidermied Murray cod in pubs around the Murray-Darling Basin. There will be opportunities for travel and visiting some of Australia’s most iconic watering-holes. Potential candidates will need a First Class Honours, Masters degree or equivalent.

Funding: The scholarship is funded through the Institute for Land, Water and Society (ILWS), one of six CSU Research Centres (equivalent Australia Postgraduate Award Stipend rate of $26,288 per year in 2016) with an additional top-up of $10,000 per year over 3 years from the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA). You will join a lively research culture and be part of the Fish Ecology Collaborative Research Unit.

Location: You will be based at Charles Sturt University, Albury, a relatively young, but expanding, environmentally active campus. In the heart of the Murray-Darling Basin, and only minutes from the Murray River and within cooee of mountains and snowfields, Albury-Wodonga has a lively science, arts and sport culture. It is also only a few hours’ drive or train trip to Melbourne and Canberra.

Applications: Interested applicants should send their CV, academic transcript and a short (max. 1 page) letter outlining their suitability and interest in the project to Dr Paul Humphries at the email below.

Closing date: Friday 30 September 2016

For more information: contact Dr Paul Humphries, Charles Sturt University:

Email:; Phone: 02 60519920; or go to the ILWS website.

International Society for River Science

I am pleased to invite you to the 5th biennial symposium of the International Society for River Science on the banks of the Waikato River, Hamilton, New Zealand, over 19-24 November 2017.

The conference theme is "Integrating multiple values" and we are now inviting proposals for Special sessions aligned to this theme. Further details regarding Special session nominations can be found on the ISRS conference website 

KEY DATES: • Special Session Proposal Nominations Close 30 NOV 2016 • Abstracts Open 1 DEC 2016
• Abstracts Close 30 APRIL 2017 • Registration Opens 1 MARCH 2017
• Early-bird Registration Closes 15 SEPTEMBER 2017

We look forward to see you in Hamilton in November 2017 Kevin Collier Conference Chair

PhD project available

Wetland forest restoration: integrating ecological theory and restoration practice

Project overview

A PhD project is available at the University of Melbourne’s School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences to work with A/Prof Chris Walsh, Dr Jane Catford and Dr Joe Greet. We are seeking a highly motivated candidate interested in developing understanding to overcome constraints to wetland forest restoration. Working with our partners Melbourne Water, Parks Victoria, Zoos Victoria and Greening Australia, the project would aim to quantify the interactive effects of flood regime, propagule availability, and competition for restoring degraded wetland forests. Grounded in ecological theory, and using landscape-scale surveys and an innovative field experiments, the project would aim to: determine the key constraints to restoring wetland forests; test and advance restoration theory; and inform management plans for restoring habitat for the endangered Helmeted Honeyeater and Leadbeater's Possum. The student would also be encouraged to develop innovative lines of enquiry that complement the project aims.

The candidate should have a solid work ethic, a deep curiosity about vegetation ecology, proven ability to work independently and in a team and strong communication skills. Preference will be given to candidates with strong analytical and quantitative skills, and field experience conducting vegetation surveys and identifying plant species.

Applicants must possess a Bachelor’s or equivalent degree with first-class Honours or Masters in ecology or related discipline. The candidate would need to successfully apply for a scholarship through the University of Melbourne (APA or MRS), which provides a tax-free annual stipend worth $25,849. With the support of our project partners, we will provide an additional $6000 p.a. top-up scholarship and funds to cover other research costs.

To apply, please send a CV, academic transcript, contact details for two academic references, and a brief cover letter outlining your research interests and motivations for applying to Informal inquiries are also welcome. Review of applications will begin immediately, and short-listed candidates will be contacted to set up an interview. Ideally, the candidate would start mid-2016.

Research group
The successful applicant will be hosted within the Waterway Ecosystem Research Group (WERG), which currently comprises 9 postdoctoral fellows, 3 research assistants and 4 postgraduate students, and offers a friendly and stimulating research environment. The WERG are based within the lovely surrounds of the Burnley Campus, UoM.

ECI and IRPE Prize Winners

Nominations for ECI and IRPE Prize Winners

Since 1986 the International Ecology Institute in Oldendorf/Luhe (Germany) has selected each year two top performers in the field of ecology: the winner of the Ecology Institute Prize (which carries an endowment of €6000) and the winner of the IRPE Prize (which carries an endowment of €3000). 

The Prize Winners are selected by a jury consisting of 7 distinguished ecologists, chosen by the ECI’s director. The prizes are awarded in annual sequence to  marine, terrestrial or freshwater ecologists distinguished by outstanding and sustained scientific achievements. The ECI prize both honours the recipient and requires him or her to serve science and society by authoring a book published in the series “Excellence in Ecology” (EE) and made available worldwide on a non-profit basis. The expectation is that the book will be published within four years of the award of the prize. The books present the personal experiences, insights and visions of their authors. These should criticize freely, and courageously formulate new scientific concepts. EE books are often donated to libraries in developing countries.

ECI prize winners, their major achievements and their EE book titles are listed under ECI Prize Winners. IRPE prize winners and their major achievements are listed under IRPE Prize. The aims of the International Ecology Institute are summarized at International Ecology Institute.

Call for nominations 2015 in Freshwater Ecology

Nominations are invited from research ecologists worldwide. Candidates must be in agreement with the nomination, and with the attached requirement to write a book. Nominations should include a brief statement why, in the opinion of the nominator, the nominee qualifies for the prize, as well as the candidate's CV, publication list, and a short outline of the book that the candidate would wish to write if successful, with an expected completion date. Nominations should be addressed to the Acting Director, Professor Brian Moss (

ASL Spring Newsletter

Mid-winter edition of the STA newsletter

Please click here to download the mid-winter edition of the STA newsletter

Science & Technology Australia's April Newsletter

Please click on the link to view the web version.

Science & Technology Australia's January Newslette

ASL Members, please click here to access the Science and Technology Australia's January Newsletter.