Ecology of Tasmanian eagles

Assessing and monitoring the abundance of Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagles

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International


$31,500pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

The Tasmanian subspecies of the wedge-tailed eagle (TWTE) is listed as Endangered because of its small population size and known threats. Conservation of the TWTE is hampered by uncertainty in estimation of population size as a basis for monitoring. This project will develop a rigorous approach to estimation and monitoring of the size of the TWTE population.

An existing citizen-science program coordinates Tasmania-wide counts of TWTEs, but conversion of raw counts to population estimates is limited by lack of information on detection probabilities and effective survey areas. The PhD project will use data from high-resolution GPS tracking of individual eagles in conjunction with trial counts to quantify detection functions and use these to extend a recent tool in population estimation (the trapping point transect approach). This information will then be applied to citizen-science data to interpret population size and trends, and in modelling of population viability. The project will support the conservation of the TWTE by building capacity for population analysis and monitoring of TWTEs.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Prof Christopher Johnson


The successful applicant will receive a scholarship which provides:

  • a living allowance stipend funded by ARC 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:

  • Qualifications at the appropriate level in quantitative ecology and conservation science

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Experience in ecological study, population estimation, and monitoring of vertebrate wildlife

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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