PhD project: Future-proofing salmonid aquaculture via nutritional innovation

Deakin University’s Nutrition and Seafood Laboratory is looking to recruit exceptional PhD candidates to undertake highly collaborative research as part of the recently announced Cooperative Research Centre – Project ‘Future-proofing the salmon farming industry in the face of climate warming’.

The farming of salmonids is made up largely by the culture of Atlantic salmon in Tasmania and contributes to over 50% of Australian aquaculture production by value. Concerningly, over the last 60 years our salmonid growing regions have emerged as a warming hotspot, with sea-surface temperatures increasing at a rate of 3-4 times the global average, resulting in a cascade of deleterious environmental impacts that are hampering the prosperity of this important food producing sector.  Summer sea-surface temperatures now routinely exceed 19°C, pushing this cold-water fish species well beyond their thermal optima.  This subsequently impacts feed intake and nutrient assimilation, with knock-on effects on growth, health and animal welfare.

The Nutrition and Seafood Laboratory at Deakin University (NuSea.Lab) aims to positively contribute towards improved environmental sustainability, economic viability and social responsibility of the nutrition and seafood sectors.  We have a longstanding reputation in the field of aquaculture nutrition and work widely with feed companies, raw material producers and farmers.  We currently have an exciting opportunity for high calibre PhD candidates to join our group to undertake a range of collaborative research activities in the discipline of fish nutrition and climate change adaptation.  These PhD projects, fully funded by the Cooperative Research Centre – Project scheme will be based at Deakin University and work closely with Australia’s leading provider of high-performance animal nutrition solutions, Ridley Agriproducts, Genics Pty Ltd, the CSIRO and the University of Queensland to develop and test an innovative range of aquafeeds that facilitate further industry growth under fluctuating environmental conditions.

Eligible applicants will have a sound theoretical understanding of the key principles of aquaculture nutrition and demonstrated practical expertise in aquatic animal husbandry and the nutritional analysis of experimental samples (e.g. proximate composition analysis, fatty acid and amino acid analysis, digestibility determination, histology, pigment analysis, Q-PCR etc).  The successful candidates will need to be able to work both autonomously and as part of a team and must have the capability of working within a commercial context.

Domestic candidates, or International candidates currently residing in Australia with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) or Master of Science will be considered and a stipend of AU$28,096 per annum (non-taxable) will be offered over the 3 year duration of the project.  Selection will follow a multi-step process with interested applicants encouraged to submit a complete Expression of Interest form plus a detailed curriculum vitae.


These positions will remain open until suitable candidates have been identified.