Investigating disease in threatened Australian wildlife


This PhD project aims to investigate disease in threatened Australian wildlife using conservation immunogenetics, and forms part of an ARC Discovery project entitled “Marsupial genomics: antimicrobial peptides and endangered species conservation”.  
In addition to Prof Kathy Belov, the supervisory team also consist of Dr Emma Peel and Dr Carolyn Hogg.


Professor Katherine (Kathy) Belov

Research Location

School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Program Type



You will use established genomic and transcriptomic datasets generated by the Australasian Wildlife Genomics Group to characterise functionally important gene families, with a focus on immune genes. 
These will be used to design baits for gene capture to assay immunogenetic diversity across populations of threatened Australian wildlife species, which will directly inform conservation management. 
In addition, you will use bioinformatics to identify novel antimicrobials and conduct a range of microbiological experiments to determine in vitro activity.

Additional Information

The successful applicant must have a degree in genetics or bioinformatics; some understanding of microbiology is desired. 
Applicants will need to apply and be considered for an Australian Research Training Program (RTP)

HDR Inherent Requirements 
In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Examples of inherent requirements may include: 

  • Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
  • Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
  • Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
  • Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
  • Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
  • Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
  • Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
  • Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
  • Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
  • Hold a current scuba diving license;
  • Hold a current Working with Children Check;
  • Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.) 
You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

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disease, wildlife, Endangered, species, Australian, marsupial, conservation, genomics

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 2727

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