The University of Newcastle, Australia

The Ecology of the Threatened Green and Golden Bell Frog in Created Habitat

Closing Date: 30 October 2020Apply Now

PhD Scholarship

Over the past ten years, the Conservation Science Research Group has worked with industry partners to successfully create a large coastal wetland ecosystem that sustains a robust population of the threatened green and golden bell frog. Success of the program and its unique features means that it has become a model system to investigate numerous ecological questions about the ecology of pond breeding frogs.

Littlejohn’s Treefrog and the Giant Burrowing Frog

The project is field based and conducted in the Hunter Wetlands National Park which is only 10 minutes drive from the university campus. The eleven created wetlands comprise about 65 hectares. Green and golden bell frogs have bred in nine of the restored wetlands in the past four summers, and persisted through the drought of 2019-2020.

Research will focus on understanding the movement ecology of the frogs, their use of terrestrial habitats over summer and winter, and larval ecology with respect to wetland hydroperiod. We also have a strong research interest in the role of the amphibian disease chytridiomycosis and how to passively manage this pathogen in nature.

The project is supported by an industry partner, which includes support for a field vehicle, equipment, and the assistance of undergraduate summer scholarship students during the peak summer breeding season. The Conservation Science Research Group includes three academics, four postdoctoral scientists, nine doctoral students, and several honours students. We have a well-resourced laboratory with specialist facilities for amphibian husbandry and other standard features.

PhD Scholarship details

Funding: $28,092 per annum (2020 rate) indexed annually. For a PhD candidate, the living allowance scholarship is for 3.5 years and the tuition fee scholarship is for four years. For an MPhil candidate, the living allowance and tuition fee scholarships are two years. Scholarships also include up to $1,500 relocation allowance and Overseas Student Health Cover at single rate, for an international candidate.

Supervisor: Matt Hayward

Available to: Domestic students


Eligibility Criteria

We are looking for a student with a strong undergraduate record with an honours degree (awarded or to be awarded in 2020) in science, ecology, environmental science or natural resource management. The project is field based and you should be able to demonstrate that you have excellent field skills and a strong aptitude for field work.

The applicant will need to meet the minimum eligibility criteria for admission.

Application Procedure

Interested applicants should send an email expressing their interest along with scanned copies of their academic transcripts, CV, a brief statement of their research interests and a proposal that specifically links them to the research project.

Please send the email expressing interest to by 5pm on 30 October 2020.

Applications Close 30 October 2020 Apply Now

Contact Matt Hayward
Phone +61 4921 7472

PhD and Research MastersFind out more