Top-up PhD scholarship available - Antarctic marine biology

Open to candidates from overseas, as well as to local students.

I am looking for a highly motivated PhD student to join my research group in the near future. The student will use genomic methods to understand dispersal, population structure and connectivity of marine invertebrates in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica. We want to know about the processes that shape Ross Sea ecosystems so that we can infer how they will change under future warming scenarios. I am offering a ‘top-up’ scholarship of NZ$ 7,000 per year (for three years) to the successful candidate, conditional on the candidate also being offered a University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship (NZ$27,000 per year, plus fee waiver:; total stipend including top-up = $34,000 per year).

To be considered, you must have:

In addition, candidates with some or all of the following will be highly regarded:

  • Experience with molecular (genetic) research

  • Experience with phylogeographic / population genetic research

  • Experience with bioinformatic analyses

  • Authorship of publication/s in peer-reviewed journals

About the project: the successful candidate will be based in the Department of Marine Science at the University of Otago, but with connections to other departments within and beyond the university. The project will align with the goals of the Antarctic Science Platform, Project 3 (, particularly around testing hypotheses about current and future patterns of population structure and connectivity, but there is some flexibility for the student to work on taxonomic groups that they find most interesting, and to help to shape the direction of the research. Genomic (e.g. Genotypying-by-Sequencing) data will be used. There will be Antarctic field work opportunities.

About the location: New Zealand offers an amazing lifestyle for nature-lovers, and Dunedin is ideally placed for you to make the most of it, just a few hours from adventure playgrounds of Queenstown and Wanaka, and with breath-taking scenery right on our doorstep – stunning beaches, forests and wildlife including penguins, albatrosses, sea lions and whales. The University of Otago is known for research excellence, and offers world-class facilities.

For more information, please contact me via

To be considered for the top-up scholarship, please email me your CV, academic transcripts, and a statement describing your research interests, experience and motivation for the project.

The selected candidate will subsequently need to apply for a University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship, and I will help you with preparing your application. There is no set deadline for application for these scholarships; the committee meets at the end of every month between February and November to assess candidates and allocate scholarship funding.