Student Opportunity Announcements

PhD Scholarship - Freshwater Restoration Ecology

The Freshwater Ecology Group within the School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, has funding provided by the Mackenzie Charitable Foundation to improve the rehabilitation of agriculturally-impacted streams in Canterbury, New Zealand. The team has just completed five years research on riparian management and is now focused on trialling a number of potential in-stream rehabilitation tools in the second phase. The research team consists of two academics, a Post-doctoral Fellow, two technicians and a number of PhD and MSc students.

We offer a fully funded PhD studentship in freshwater and restoration ecology

research. This is a chance for a high-calibre student to join a successful research team investigating important applied issues and the fundamental processes which underpin them, to find solutions in an agricultural landscape. We are looking for a student who can undertake innovative research that will both improve our understanding of fundamental issues in freshwater ecology while also enhancing local watershed management practices in New Zealand.

Canterbury Waterway Rehabilitation Experiment (CAREX) - The CAREX research is focussing three main issues common in many farm waterways: nuisance macrophytes, excessive sediments and high nutrients. Research will be based primarily around ten agriculturally-impacted waterways within the Canterbury Region. Specifically, this PhD will investigate mechanisms for the control of nuisance macrophytes, including experimentation on the effects of shading, competition and drain clearance. Applicants with expertise in macrophytes but also stream ecosystem and macroinvertebrate ecology are encouraged to apply.

Applicants need to have the potential to carry out insightful research, as well as the initiative and personality to communicate the results to a wide variety of groups, including scientists, landowners and general public. They must be able to work within a team and can expect high quality mentoring and support from the group. Successful applicants will be highly motivated, have a strong academic record, appropriate practical and technical experience, and will have demonstrated a high level of ability in written and oral communication.

Scholarship Details and Application

The scholarship is for study at the University of Canterbury within the Freshwater Ecology Research Group in association with Professors Angus McIntosh and Jon Harding. The scholarships consist of a NZ $25,000 per annum student stipend (i.e., tax free living allowance) and funding to cover course fees and research expenses for three years.

Applications should be sent via e-mail to Nicki Judson (, administrative assistant in the School of Biological Sciences, by 9 May 2014, and should include:

  • (i)  a full curriculum vitae (including phone contact details), 

  • (ii)  a copy of your academic record, 

  • (iii)  a one page statement of your research interests and aspirations, 

  • (iv)  the names and contact details of three referees who are willing to provide

    confidential comments on your capacity to undertake a PhD, and 

  • (v)  an indication of your desired start date. 

Successful applicants may be required to submit copies of official documents before being admitted to the PhD program at the University of Canterbury.

Questions of an academic nature can be addressed to either Prof. Angus McIntosh, or Dr Catherine Febria,