Biochar-Bromoform interactions in rumen

The physical and chemical characteristics of Biochar responsible for Asparagopsis-oil Bromoform retention and degradation in the rumen environment

Degree type


Closing date

27 March 2023



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

Methane emissions from farms contribute to global climate change challenges. Red Seaweed (Asparagopsis) is a good source of the bioactive compound- bromoform, now known to be used in abating methane emissions in ruminant animals. Hence, the use of Asparagopsis steeped in oil (Asparagopsis-oil) has been tested as a means to supplement bromoform to ruminants.  However, delivery of an oil supplementation is often challenging particularly in grazing systems. To overcome this ongoing research within the Livestock Production Centre at Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture has identified biochar as a carrier for dietary supplementation of Asparagopsis-oil. It is currently not known how different types of biochar vary in both their physical and chemical characteristics and how these differences aid biochar function as a medium for delivering bromoform to ruminants.

This project will:

  1. Investigate the physical and chemical characteristics of different types of biochar.
  2. Elucidate the role of these characteristics on bromoform retention and stability in varying feed formulations including pelletization.
  3. Establish the relationship between these characteristics and rumen methane gas production.
  4. Identify the relationship between these characteristics, methane gas production and rumen methanogenic microbiota composition.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Apeh Omede


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $31,500 per annum (2023 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applications are open to Domestic/ International/ Onshore applicants
  • Research must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applications are open to candidates with a background in animal science/production or a related discipline and awarded a first-class Honours degree or a master's degree
  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

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:

  • Knowledge of animal nutrition and digestive physiology
  • Experience in laboratory techniques for in vitro rumen digestibility and gas production
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research capability evidenced in publications
  • Excellent written and spoken communication

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Experience or skills in molecular biology
  • Strong statistical analysis skills
  • A valid driver's licence or capacity to obtain one

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 Apeh Omede to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. 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.

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