Post-Doctoral Fellowship Advertisement: Macroalgal Ecophysiology (Oct 2021)

Two-year Postdoctoral fellowship to work on macroalgal ecophysiology applied to coral reef restoration.

Project Description and Fellowship

This project is part of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP, https://gbrrestoration.org/), which brings together Australia’s leading marine experts to create an innovative suite of interventions to help the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) resist, adapt to, and recover from the impacts of climate change.

Within RRAP, the Coral Aquaculture and Deployment sub-program aims to develop and optimise methods of larval settlement and recruitment for the restoration of core coral populations in the GBR (https://gbrrestoration.org/program/coral-aquaculture-and-deployment/). Early life history stages of corals experience complex competitive interactions for space with benthic macroalgae and therefore, the nature of the algae and their communities (and biofilms) that develop on substrates used for coral larval settlement are important determinants of successful settlement and post-settlement survival. Given the critical importance of macroalgae for coral success, this postdoctoral project will focus on examining strategies to better control algal fouling (both desirables and non-desirables) on larval settlement substrates.

The Post-Doctoral Fellow will lead a project to generate fundamental information on the influence of light (both quality and quantity), grazing by invertebrates, and substrate on the physiology and ecology of benthic algae and their interactions with early life stages of corals. The Post-Doctoral Fellow will also conduct research on fouling ecology; in particular, the Fellow will examine the use of environmentally safe antifouling compounds to control the nature of the algal communities that grow on artificial substrates. The findings from this project will be used to develop methodologies that will enhance settlement and survival of coral larvae and recruits in the lab and in the field. This information will contribute to reef restoration initiatives and interventions to help conserve wild populations.

The Post-Doctoral Fellow will join the Coral Reef Algae Lab at Griffith University (Brisbane) and will be primarily based at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) in Townsville. The project will be supported by the RRAP and the Fellow will work in collaboration with Associate Professor Guillermo Diaz Pulido (Griffith), Dr Andrew Negri (AIMS) and Dr Muhammad Abdul Wahab (AIMS).

About you

The Post-Doctoral Fellowship is available to Australian and international researchers (preferably already based in Australia) that demonstrate a strong academic record and research potential. Your PhD in Macroalgal Biology or Ecology including ecophysiology, photosynthesis, competitive and trophic interactions, community dynamics, early life histories and substantial skills in algal identifications and knowledge of coral biology will be fundamental to your success in this role. You will rely on your skills to collect, analyse and interpret scientific data and information to generate knowledge and write scientific papers on the topic of the fellowship. Your excellent interpersonal and communication skills will be necessary to work in the RRAP team. Experience with diving and boating related activities and a Scientific Diver qualification will provide you with the capabilities to participate and potentially coordinate field trips to coral reefs in the GBR.

An ideal Post-Doctoral Fellow will have:

Essential

  • A PhD in marine biology/ ecology or algal biology
  • Knowledge of algal (preferably macroalgal) biology, physiology and ecology, including photobiology, community dynamics and competitive and trophic interactions, preferably in tropical ecosystems.
  • Strong background in experimental design and quantitative analysis of ecophysiological and ecological data.
  • Experience in designing and conducting laboratory and/or field experiments with marine species, preferably macroalgae.
  • High level (relevant to opportunity and career stage) of academic achievement, quality and number of publications, and/or other forms of research output.
  • Experience in presenting scientific data in publications, reports and orally to diverse audiences, and the ability to write and edit scientific publications in a timely manner.
  • Demonstrated record of successful multidisciplinary collaboration and ability to work effectively with other team members.
  • Be able to commence by November / December 2021

Desirable

  • Experience with macroalgal taxonomy and knowledge of molecular tools applied to algal identification/systematics.
  • Knowledge of, and experience with, the sexual reproduction and larval settlement of corals.
  • An interest in algal and coral aquaculture/husbandry.
  • The desire and ability to be registered on the AIMS dive register

How to Apply:

  • Interested applicants should email A/Prof Diaz-Pulido no later than 15 October 2021 (g.diaz-pulido@griffith.edu.au) with the following documentation:
  • Current Resume (including two current professional references);
  • Document addressing the Key Selection Criteria within the scope of the position description; and
  • A short cover letter.

Salary range

  • Salary $86,885 per annum. Salary package including 17% employer superannuation contribution.
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