Amino acid requirements of juvenile tropical (Panulirus ornatus): towards the development of effective formulated feeds

Degree type


Closing date

20 August 2022



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore


$28,597pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

This project will focus on defining optimum protein quality by determining key essential amino acid requirements for juvenile topical and slipper lobsters. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the importance of between meal changes in tissue amino acid supply, balance and fluxes into growth or metabolism. The research will combine established and cutting-edge methods to understand amino acid metabolism at multiple levels and specifically related to how well amino acid requirements are being met or not met. Classic factorial modelling of amino acid requirements will establish the base experimental approach. Advanced respirometry, combining oxygen consumption with carbon dioxide and nitrogenous excretion, will determine changes in substrate utilization within 24-h cycles and incorporate between meal changes in amino acid supply to tissues. Protein turnover will be measured because it underlies growth, is strongly influenced by dietary protein quality (amino acid balance) and has high energy costs. Stable isotope tracking to the level of specific amino acids will be developed and provide further detail on metabolic pathways and specific amino acid retention efficiencies (e.g. Barreto-Curiel et al 2019). Targeted transcriptomics or proteomics may then be used to understand how gene regulation relates to differences in protein turnover and amino acid fluxes. The research will ultimately help explain mechanisms that underpin dietary differences in whole-animal growth efficiency and provide a detailed basis for feed formulation.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Prof Chris Carter


The successful applicant will receive a scholarship which provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,597 per annum (2021 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

International applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.


The project is open to domestic (Australia and New Zealand) and international applicants who are already in Australia (onshore) at the time of submitting their application.

Due to current Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions the University cannot accept applications from International applicants who are currently overseas.

Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded. Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Graduates with a strong academic record (e.g. BSc Hons, MSc or equivalent qualifications demonstrated by publication record) in aquaculture, ecology, marine biology, molecular biology and zoology or similar

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Research experience or undergraduate training in aquaculture, physiology, nutrition, aquatic health and/or molecular biology (project specific)
  • Demonstrated experience in aquaculture growth or feeding experiments and laboratory analytical analysis
  • Keen interest in and desire for a career in aquaculture and/or marine ecology

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Prof Chris Carter, if you have any questions about the project; and
  3. Click here to submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email.

Apply now Explore other projects

Why the University of Tasmania?

Worldwide reputation for research excellence

Quality supervision and support

Tasmania offers a unique study lifestyle experience