PhD position: Will kauri survive? Resilience of ancient kauri populations to the modern world.

The University of Auckland
New Zealand
Apply By (date): 
Monday, November 30, 2020 - 00:00


Three new Ngā Rākau Taketake PhD positions are available.

Position 1: Will kauri survive? Resilience of ancient kauri populations to the modern world.

Kauri (Agathis australis) is a long-lived emergent tree species, and acts as a foundation species for a suite of northern forest ecosystems. It is taonga and faces several threats, including pathogens (Phytophthora agathidicida) and climate change. Understanding how these threats will affect kauri long-term requires understanding the species demography. We are looking for a PhD student interested in integrating repeated-measure plot-based data, dendroecological information, and state-of-the-art population models (e.g., integral projection approaches) to evaluate the resilience of kauri populations to demographic change under multiple stressors.

The successful candidate will have a strong background in plant ecology and be reasonably comfortable with quantitative analyses. Candidates should have a willingness and demonstrated ability to conduct fieldwork and have experience in modelling or an interest in developing such experience.

The PhD position is associated with the Ngā Rākau Taketake – Risk Assessment and Ecosystem Impacts theme of the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge. The project team includes researchers from multiple NZ Universities and Crown Research Institutes with a wide range of expertise.

We are offering a PhD 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 at the University of Auckland. Domestic and international students are encouraged to apply and must meet the University of Auckland PhD programme entry requirements.

To apply, please send a cover letter stating your interests and experience relevant to the project, a CV, transcripts, and the names and contact information for three references to: Dr Bruce Burns ( by 30 November 2020.