CSIRO Agriculture and Food and the University of Tasmania (UTAS) are offering a joint PhD scholarship to research the physiology of flowering and seed production in serradellas. The student is expected to be based at CSIRO in Canberra for the duration of their PhD, with regular contact with their UTAS supervisors and annual trips to UTAS.
Project Title: The physiology of flowering and seed production in serradellas; promising alternative pasture legumes for Southern Australia impact.
Serradellas (Ornithopus spp.) are promising alternative, annual pasture legumes with an expanding role in southern Australia. Traditionally, yellow serradellas (O. compressus) have been used in light, acid soils where their production can exceed that of benchmark pasture legumes such as subterranean clover. However, development of improved yellow and French serradella (O. sativus) cultivars has, since 2009, underpinned an expansion of serradella use in phase-farming systems. More recently, serradellas have been found to be highly phosphorus-efficient and it is anticipated that serradella-based grazing systems may require up to 30% less phosphorus fertiliser than subterranean clover-based pastures. This has both national and global significance given Australia’s dependence on phosphorus fertiliser and the importance of the world’s finite phosphate rock reserves for food security.
Further expansion of serradella use into the permanent pasture zone depends on the suitability of cultivars for high yields and persistence in the southern Australian climate. However, the optimum time of flowering for reliable seed production, the regulation of flowering response to climate and the physiology of seed growth in the serradellas is largely unknown.
This project will address these gaps in knowledge and will define how new serradella varieties can be developed for use in the permanent pasture systems of southern Australia.
Worth of Award
- This scholarship provides $27.596 (2019 rate) living allowance for 3 years, with a possible 6 month extension.
- The scholarship also includes $9,166 pa operational funds to support the PhD research project.
The following eligibility criteria apply to this scholarship:
- The scholarship is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates;
- The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis;
- Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector;
- Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.
Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:
- Pasture science
- Plant physiology
- Genetics and breeding
How to Apply
- Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor.
- To determine eligibility, applicants should also contact the Research Hub for their proposed area of research and request an Expression of Interest Form (EOI). Further information on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.
- If a Graduate Research Administration Officer (GRAO) subsequently invites you to complete an application after you have submitted an EOI, please visit the Apply Now website and complete an application via the University of Tasmania’s Online Application System.
- Please indicate under Scholarship Support that you wish to be considered for a living allowance scholarship.
- Please contact Dr Richard Simpson (CSIRO, Canberra) ([email protected]) or Dr Beth Penrose ([email protected]) for more information.
Deadline: Applications close December 31, 2019.