Cherry quality and protected cropping

Premium quality cherries from protected cropping: Let there be light and/or Calcium?!

Degree type


Closing date

10 October 2022



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

Protected cropping represents a significant and required investment into the production of premium sweet cherries. Tasmanian cherries carry an international reputation for quality. TIA is a global leader in cherry ecophysiology. This project aims to understand two key factors in cherry quality; 1. the light environment of new tree canopy structures and; 2. calcium uptake. To achieve these aims, light environments within contemporary and experimental tree structures will be investigated and manipulated and related to carbohydrate availability and fruit quality. Secondly tree and fruit water and Calcium dynamics will be investigated and manipulated and related to cell wall strength, fruit tissue structural properties, fruit quality and post-harvest shelf life. This project builds on recent work at TIA into tree sap flow (water uptake) and canopy light interception and penetration in cherries under protected cropping.

This project will be undertaken in world class commercial cherry orchards grown under a variety of protected cropping structures including Cravo and Voen Systems.  The project is part of a larger program of research in Cool Climate Horticulture for Sustainable Profitability and is co-funded by Hort Innovation,  UTAS and Industry.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Prof Dugald Close


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 $28,854 per annum (2022 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:

  • 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.

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, Prof Dugald Close 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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