Bull Kelp aquaculture

Reproduction, alginate variation, and early life-cycle development in bull kelp for hatchery

Degree type


Closing date

18 July 2022



Citizenship requirement



$30,000pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

There is a significant opportunity for the expansion of the seaweed industry in Australia. Within the Blue Economy CRC, bull kelp (Durvillaea spp.) is a strong option for off-shore cultivation due to its ability to tolerate high wave energy and produce alginates at high levels. However, basic biological information required for cultivation (reproduction and growth, hatchery methods and grow-out requirements) are not known for bull kelp which represents a significant knowledge gap for the industry.

This PhD project aims to generate this critical information to kick-start the cultivation of bull kelp as part of the emerging Tasmanian seaweed industry. The project will first, develop an understanding of the reproductive and early life-cycle biology of bull kelp which will lead into optimisation of hatchery methods. Following this, the optimal season and tissue to harvest for maximum alginate production will be determined. Finally, the project will trial out-planting methods for at-sea cultivation of bull kelp.

Primary Supervisor

Meet A/Prof Jeffrey Wright


The successful applicant will receive a scholarship which provides:

  • a living allowance stipend funded by BE CRC of $30,000 per annum for 3.5 years
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

International applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.


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

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:

  • First-class honours or equivalent in marine biology, ecology or a related field of research
  • Demonstrated proficiency in written and verbal English language
  • Experience in quantitative methods with a thorough understanding of experimental design and knowledge of statistical software programs

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Knowledge of seaweed biology and basic laboratory methods

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, A/Prof Jeffrey Wright 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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