Ecology of Tasmanian birds of prey

Ecology and conservation of Tasmanian birds of prey

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

Raptors are ecologically important but many are threatened and in decline. Like many other apex predators, they face challenges that include habitat loss, disturbance, bioaccumulation of toxins and collision with anthropogenic structures. For effective conservation management, empirical data is required on the specific threats faced by different populations. Tasmania has 12 resident species of raptors, of which 4 are listed as threatened. However, there is a paucity of information on the conservation status of Tasmania’s raptors, their ecology, and the threats they face.

This PhD project will investigate the ecology and conservation requirements of Tasmanian raptor species. Working together within a multi-disciplinary team with expertise in raptor ecology, animal behaviour, conservation biology, genetics, and conservation management, the candidate will target priority areas of research and develop approaches to meet stakeholder priorities. Potential areas of focus include investigations of movement ecology, habitat requirements, nest site fidelity, behavioural and hormonal responses to human disturbance, population survey methods, exposure to environmental contaminants, and conservation genetics. The PhD project will contribute to broader ARC-funded research and include collaboration with stakeholders in the forest and renewable energy industries, which will help translate project findings into management actions.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Prof Christopher Johnson


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.

Other funding opportunities and fees

For further information regarding other scholarships on offer, and the various fees of undertaking a research degree, please visit our Scholarships and fees on research degrees page.


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

Ensure your eligibility for the scholarship round by referring to our Key Dates.

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:

  • A higher-level Honours degree or equivalent in wildlife ecology
  • Field skills in study of birds and remote fieldwork
  • Good statistical skills

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Experience in capture and GPS-tracking of birds of prey, and analysis of data on movement behaviour and habitat selection.

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Prof Christopher Johnson to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • 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.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 25 September 2023.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

Following the 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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