PhD Scholarship - Selecting pest-tolerant eucalyptus breeds for NZ Forestry

11 May 2018

The New Zealand Dryland Forests Initiative (NZDFI) is breeding elite eucalypt species to produce high-value, naturally ground-durable (not requiring chemical treatment) timber in dryland regions of New Zealand.

  • Paropsis beetle

As insect pests of eucalypts continue to arrive from Australia, it is essential to protect this industry from future biological risk by selecting eucalypt species and breeds that are the most pest-tolerant.

We are offering a PhD scholarship at the University of Canterbury that will inform the eucalypt selection process by investigating the interactions between insect pests and the chemical and physical foliar properties of eucalypt breeds being grown in field trials with different microclimates across dryland regions of New Zealand.

The research focus may include:        

  • Assessing links between pest tolerance, tree genetics, foliar chemistry & wood properties
  • Evaluating pest host-preferences and impacts
  • Understanding the influence of environmental conditions on foliar chemistry and plant-insect interactions

The available scholarship covers university fees, a stipend of $22,000 p.a. and research costs. The ideal applicant will have a GPA of 7.0 (A-) or higher, a four-year bachelor degree with first class honours or a Master’s degree in an entomology, ecology or chemical ecology related field. Candidates must have a valid driver’s licence and be willing to undertake field work. Ideal start date is June 2018 but later start dates will be considered.

Expressions of interest:

Dr Tara Murray

For information on enrolment at UC, visit: 

Your primary supervisor will be Dr Tara Murray.  


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