Cultivation of high-value seaweeds for food

Degree type


Closing date

30 August 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore


$28,597pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

A recent report has identified a significant opportunity for the expansion of the seaweed industry in Australia. Currently this industry has very limited aquaculture and largely relies on wild harvest and imports to meet its needs. Southern Australia, including Tasmania, has a diverse and productive seaweed flora and the potential to contribute to the expansion of the industry. Species in the genus Caulerpa are common in Tasmania and are a high-value food product internationally but to date have not been produced commercially in Australia.

This PhD project aims to identify Caulerpa species for cultivation as part of the emerging Tasmanian seaweed industry. The project will develop an understanding of the ecology and biochemistry of Tasmanian Caulpera species and optimise cultivation conditions at realistic scales for industry. The candidate will work at the new seaweed aquaculture facilities at IMAS Taroona (due for completion 2021) and also work closely with the industry partner (Sea Forest).

Primary Supervisor

Meet A/Prof Jeff Wright


The scholarship supporting this project 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 fee scholarship for up to 4 years (successful domestic applicants will be awarded an RTP Fees Offset and successful international applicants will be awarded a University of Tasmania Fees Offset)

The scholarship supporting this project is funded by the University of Tasmania and the Australian Government through the Research Training Program.


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 PhD minimum entry requirements.

Applicants from the following disciplines are encouraged to apply:

  • Aquaculture, Marine Biology, Marine Ecology

Selection Criteria

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

Additional selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Scientific diver qualification or the capacity to obtain it
  • Knowledge of seaweed biology and basic laboratory methods

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, A/Prof Jeff Wright, 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 by the advertised outcome date.

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