Nutrient enrichment in temperate reefs

Biological mechanisms for nutrient enrichment in temperate reefs

Degree type


Closing date

22 November 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore


$28,597pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

Temperate reef ecosystems in the inshore coastal zone are one of the most valuable and productive ecosystems globally. They are generally dominated by macroalgae in the form of large, conspicuous kelp assemblages that underpin ecosystem function. However, they are also vulnerable to a range of anthropogenic factors that lead to nutrient enrichment, including increased urbanisation and expansion of coastal industry, including salmon aquaculture. In severe cases, increases in nutrients will result in a loss of ecosystem function, however, understanding this response is complex in multi-use systems that are subject to a variety of environmental and anthropogenic pressures. To aid in the management of the industry, we need to better understand how inshore reef systems will respond to potential changes to nutrients and sediments in the water column.

This PhD project will investigate biological pathways and processes for nutrient enrichment in temperate reef ecosystems, examining biochemical and biological responses to increases in available nutrient.  Outputs will provide basic vital information needed to better understand environmental resilience and sustainability in these multi-use ecosystems.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Camille White


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:

  • Marine science
  • Biological science
  • Natural resource management

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/scholarship (if applicable):


  • First-class honours or equivalent in biology, ecology or a related field of research.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in written and verbal English language.
  • Scientific diver qualification or the equivalent thereof.
  • Experience in quantitative methods with knowledge of statistical software programs such as R and PRIMER.
  • Desirable:

  • First-author publication in international peer-reviewed journal
  • Knowledge of macroalgal communities in SE Australia
  • Experience in manipulative experiments in field and laboratory
  • Coxswains certificate, or ability to obtain one
  • Experience in biochemical or microbiological 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, Dr Camille White, 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.

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