PhD position: Characterisation of the plant-soil interaction in Kauri ecosystem

New Zealand
Apply By (date): 
Monday, November 30, 2020 - 00:00


Three new Ngā Rākau Taketake PhD positions are available.

Position 2: Characterisation of the plant-soil interaction in Kauri ecosystem

This fully funded PhD research project will investigate soil physical, chemical and biological characteristics and deliver important baseline information required to better understand kauri ecosystems. You will combine advance DNA techniques (metagenomics, next generation sequencing) and biogeochemical techniques to describe microbial communities and how their diversity, functioning and interactions may be affected by kauri dieback disease. This opportunity is part of the Ngā Rākau Taketake – Risk Assessment and Ecosystem Impacts theme of the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge. The research team include multiple New Zealand Universities and Crown Research Institutes with multiple experts in different disciplines. Students who are interested in diverse aspects of how soil microbiology, ecology and microbial processes impact ecosystem health and functioning should apply.

We are offering a stipend plus tuition fees. The funding will also cover all consumable costs and other expenses related to the research project. The successful candidate will be based in the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) City Campus. The candidate will have demonstrated experience in research and have the willingness to conduct molecular laboratory experiments and field work. Domestic and international students are encouraged to apply and must meet the AUT PhD programme entry requirements.

To apply, please email Associate Professor Donnabella Lacap-Bugler (; Associate Professor Gavin Lear ( and Associate Professor Hannah Buckley ( with your cover letter stating your interest and experience relevant to the research project, a CV, and the names and contact details of three referees by 30 November 2020.