PhD Studentship at University of Waikato (Trophic structure of the Lake Taupo food web)

Trophic structure of the Lake Taupo food web
Ph.D. student scholarship (three years)

Department of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Science and Engineering
University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand

A Ph.D. candidate is sought to conduct research on the Lake Taupo food web. Lake Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand, has great cultural significance to Māori/iwi, is important for tourism and the local economy, and is world-renowned for trout fishing.  It is generally acknowledged that linkages of lower levels of the food chain (particularly zooplankton and smelt) that are important in supporting the trout fishery in this lake are relatively poorly understood. This Ph.D. study is expected to provide a ‘snapshot’ of Lake Taupo’s food web, showing the relative abundance of, and interactions amongst phytoplankton, zooplankton, smelt and trout. It will provide the major stakeholders, including the regional and district councils, iwi, Department of Conservation, and the Advocates for the Tongariro River with fundamental information to contribute towards better management of the lake and its trout fishery.

Our project team, Lake Ecosystem Restoration New Zealand (, is funded through an Outcome Based Investment from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, as a key platform for research into lake biodiversity restoration.  LERNZ has a number of post-doctoral fellows, post-graduate students and technicians that form the project team.  It is hosted within the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Waikato. The University of Waikato is one of New Zealand’s major research organisations and has a key role in the local and national economy. LERNZ is at the centre of a network of research institutions in the Waikato and this research expertise is expected to contribute to this project through co-supervision and supervisory panel arrangements.

Funding for this project is from the Advocates for the Tongariro River, a community group that promotes management strategies intended to preserve and enhance this tributary of Lake Taupo. The Advocates have secured funding to support this study from the Pharazyn Trust, the Department of Conservation and the Taupo District Council. The successful candidate will receive a scholarship of NZ $25,000 p.a. as a living allowance and full tuition fees for three years. 

All applicants should have an appropriate undergraduate qualification with a minimum of a BSc(Hons) degree or higher in an aligned field.  The successful applicant will have good communication and problem solving skills, strong work ethic and the ability to work in an interdisciplinary research team.  For further information on the requirements and regulations for undertaking at Ph.D. study at the University of Waikato, please visit:

Applicants should submit electronically a CV, at least two professional references and a cover letter to:
Jo Faber,
Research Manager – OBI

Those seeking further information on the position can contact:
Professor David Hamilton
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chair in Lake Restoration at Waikato University

Applications close 14 June 2013

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