PhD Scholarship - Behavioural Ecology/ Conservation
Published On: 2017-08-22

PhD Scholarship - Behavioural Ecology/ Conservation

PhD Scholarship available for Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, Massey University, Auckland Campus

"The function of New Zealand mangrove forests as wildlife habitats and effect of mangrove removal on banded rails (Gallirallus phillippensis)"

While mangrove forests are declining worldwide due to the impact of human land use, the area of mangrove cover in New Zealand has expanded since the last 100 years, also due to human land use, resulting from increased nutrient level and restricted water flow in estuaries. Removal of mangroves have been practiced in order to restore recreational access to beaches and water. The aim of this project is to investigate whether mangrove forests has become important habitats for coastal avian species and the effect of mangrove removal on their foraging and breeding success, using banded rail (Gallirallus phillippensis) as a model. Such knowledge is crucial for managing mangrove expansion and to threatened species such as banded rails that inhabit coastal habitats including saltmarsh, seagrass and mangrove forests.

The applicant should have demonstrated research experience in animal behaviour/ecology. Previous experiences working with avian species would be an advantage. A willingness and enthusiasm for conducting fieldwork is required. The applicant should have a proven ability to work independently, as well as be able to contribute as part of a research team. The project will involve molecular techniques and experiences and skills in this area would also be advantageous.

The scholarship provides a tax-free stipend of NZ$  27,000 per year plus PhD fees for three years to the successful candidate. The project will be based at Massey University Auckland Campus.

Scholarship applications for candidates are due by 30 September 2017, and candidates would need to be prepared to enroll at Massey University by 1 November 2017. This Scholarship is available to both domestic and international students.

To apply or enquire, please email Dr Weihong Ji with a statement of your background and interest in the project, Curriculum Vitae, and a copy of your undergraduate academic transcripts. You should also include the contact details of two referees who are able to speak about your suitability for this position.


Phone: 0064 9 2136596

Closing date: 1 November 2017

For further information and to apply online, visit:

New Zealand is emerging with a new confidence on a global stage. As a country we have the desire, innovation and creativity to take on the best the world has to offer. Through our students, staff and alumni, Massey is the engine that is making a practical contribution to turning the wheels in this exciting new chapter in New Zealand.