New PhD project on biodiversity indicators

We are looking for a new PhD student to undertake research on biodiversity indicators, supervised by Emily Nicholson in collaboration with Simon Ferrier at CSIRO, Beth Fulton (CSIRO), and Ben Collen at University College London (UCL). The project will be supported by CSIRO, providing a top-up and research funds, for a student able to get an Australian Postgraduate Award. Please get in touch with Emily Nicholson by mid June 2016, with the possibility of a mid-2016 start. Applications will close as soon as a suitable candidate has been found.

The project: Reliable and sensitive biodiversity indicators are critical to track progress towards conservation targets. Yet most biodiversity indicators remain untested in their ability to reveal the trends needed by decision-makers. This project aims to develop much-needed methods to test, design and select biodiversity indicators to support conservation decisions. It will provide the first comprehensive test of indicators used to monitor biodiversity change at local to global scales, by sampling ecosystem models to evaluate how indicator design, data bias and environmental variability affect performance. The research will evaluate and improve the way change in biodiversity is measured, globally and in Australia, and provide new methods for policy evaluation with biodiversity indicators. Project outcomes will have significant implications for predicting and measuring impacts of policy such as the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The student will develop and/or adapt a range of modeling approaches, including ecosystem models, for use in indicator testing, together with large databases. The project is in collaboration with researchers in biodiversity conservation and fisheries science, at CSIRO and Universities overseas including UCL. The student will be based at Deakin University in Burwood, in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, and will be a member of the Centre for Integrative Ecology, a supportive research environment with a strong ecological focus. We are looking for a student with quantitative skills and experience in R or similar. Please send a CV and cover letter to Emily Nicholson (

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