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

Closing Date

29th October 2021

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


Essential Skills:

  • 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

Desirable Skills:

  • 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

Please check the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the supervisor, A/Prof Quinn Fitzgibbon.

Information and guidance on the application process can be found here.

To submit an application for this project, click here.