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This could be you!

Currently seeking highly motivated students for two funded Phd projects:

1) Feral cat ecology and behavior in the wet tropics.

I am seeking a highly motivated PhD student to study the ecology of feral cats at James Cook University, Townsville. Project/research support will be provided, but students are expected to apply for an APA (Australian Postgraduate Award) or other similar scholarship. The goal of this project is to determine the abundance and distribution of feral cats in the Queensland wet tropics region, and understand the ecological role of feral cats in relation to native prey species and introduced predators (dingoes). The main project will involve extensive camera trapping in the Townsville/Cairns region. Future work may include using GPS collars on feral cats to better understand their behavior and movement ecology. The scale of the project is somewhat large, and students will be encouraged to focus on a particular part of the project as well as develop their own studies within the larger project umbrella. Previous field work experience is required, and advanced analytical skills (computer programing, GIS, advanced stats experience) may be helpful.

2) Using robotic predator models to understand anti-predator behaviors.

Dingo predation on calves is a serious financial burden to graziers in Australia. We are seeking to use newly developed technologies to understand the predator prey interactions between dingo and their prey. This information will be used to develop and refine methods that will lead to a reduction in financial losses to graziers. While the main goal of this project is applied science, there is plenty of room for basic behavioral ecology research. Experience driving remote controlled cars and a drone flight license would be helpful.

Applications are due 31, September 2017, but students should contact me at: ben.hirsch@jcu.edu.au beforehand to discuss their application.

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