Micro-nutrient requirements of juvenile tropical (Panulirus ornatus) and slipper lobster (Thenus australiensis) with reference to requirements at moulting

Closing Date

2nd November 2020*

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

*unless filled earlier

The Research Project

This PhD will aim to quantify mineralisation of the exoskeleton of juvenile tropical and slipper lobsters as a function of endogenous (stored) and exogeneous (food and environment) mineral sources. Mineral fluxes in crustacean around moulting signifies specific physiological adaptations particularly aiming at maintaining the acid-base homeostasis. It is a common knowledge that at the pre-moult stage, minerals are resorbed from the old cuticle and at post-moult stage, the new cuticle is mineralised. Crustacea have some specific mechanisms to store resorbed minerals, particularly calcium from the old cuticle and which is made available to mineralise the new cuticle at post-moult. However, this endogenous source of mineral is not considered significant in marine crustacea due to it being readily available in the environment. Therefore, it is generally accepted that food and the environment are the main source for minerals in marine crustacea and the relative importance of these two sources are species dependent.

At present, the ability for juvenile tropical and slipper lobsters to store and reutilise resorbed minerals is unknown. Similarly, the relative contributions of minerals from food and the environment is as well unknown for these two species. A quantitative assessment of the three potential mineral sources (stored, food and environment) which makes up the exoskeleton is key to feed formulation. The PhD will employ a wide range of analytical tools to further understanding of the mechanism by which the acid-base balance in juvenile tropical and slipper lobsters is maintained.

Eligibility
  • 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
  • Applicants will be assessed and ranked according to the quality of their basis for entry research degree and institution, prior peer reviewed publications, academic awards, project-specific skills, training or relevant industry experience, referee’s reports and supervisory support
  • Research experience or undergraduate training in aquaculture, physiology, nutrition, animal behaviour 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

See the following web page for entry requirements: www.utas.edu.au/research/degrees/what-is-a-research-degree

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact, Quinn Fitzgibbon for further information.