Improving pasture legume drought tolerance through better nutrition

Closing Date

31st July 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

Increasing the legume component pastures is beneficial for animal production and health, and environmental sustainability due to the fixation of nitrogen by legume-associated bacteria.

Sensitivity to drought is a major limitation to broader perennial legume adaptation across much of the high rainfall permanent pasture region of SE Australia. Strong evidence exists that elevated levels of phosphorus and lime improves pasture persistence and recovery following drought. Potassium (K) is also implicated in pasture response to drought due to its known internal function in osmoregulation, including the control of water loss through stomata. However, little previous research has explored the extent to which increased K nutrition may improve drought tolerance of pasture legumes, or through which mechanisms increased persistence might be achieved. Micronutrients such as molybdenum (Mo) and boron (B) are also very important in legume growth and persistence, but their effect on drought tolerance is also unknown.

This project will use a series of glasshouse and field experiments to examine the effect of K, Mo and B on the response of a drought-sensitive forage species that is of international significance, white clover (Trifolium repens L.).

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:
  • The project is open to Australian and New Zealand (domestic) candidates and to International candidates.
  • Research must be undertaken on a full-time basis.
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first-class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector. See the following web page for entry requirements:
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.
Candidates from the following disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply:
  • Pasture science
  • Agronomy
  • Plant nutrition
Selection Criteria. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:
  • Experience in pasture science is preferred
  • Demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.
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, Beth Penrose, for further information.