Variability in the HIMI Toothfish fishery

Investigating sources of variability in the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Toothfish fishery

Degree type


Closing date

29 October 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore


$28,597pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

This project aims to investigate two identified potential sources of variability in the stock assessment, and one cause of economic variability. This PhD project will be used to enhance the scientific research capacity in the current Southern Ocean fisheries research team within IMAS and the AAD as part of the fully funded project by the Fisheries Research Development Corporation (FRDC); Project 2020-097.

The research will (1) provide reliable and representative estimates of maturity-at-age for Patagonian toothfish at HIMI, (2) develop and evaluate a sex-based stock assessment for the HIMI toothfish fishery, and (3) investigate sea lice species occurrence and diversity at HIMI, and assess the potential impacts of sea lice occurrence on the HIMI toothfish fishery.

Primary Supervisor

Meet A/Prof Kerrie Swadling


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 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 and the following additional eligibility criteria specific to this project:

  • Applications are open to Domestic applicants only

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:

  • Must have, or be able to obtain Certificate of safety training for field work
  • Be proficient in programming in R, including package development
  • Be able to undertake field work on fishing vessels

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Ability to program in C++

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 Kerrie Swadling, 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 contact details of two 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.

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