PhD opportunities in Science

Make a difference in the world

UWA is furthering scientific understanding with groundbreaking research across a range of disciplines. Researchers in the Faculty of Science work collaboratively with other faculties, universities and industry in Western Australia and worldwide. Our PhD students have the opportunity to conduct research with supervisors who are recognised experts in their field, have access to state-of-the-art facilities and are encouraged to grow and develop your critical and analytical skills.

Why Science?

Science is about making a difference and it is a great time to be a scientist. As we face the challenges of the twenty-first century, we need to make new discoveries in science and technology to help tackle pressing global problems in health, environment, agriculture and energy. 

 

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1st in Australia and 14th in the world for Agricultural Sciences (ARWU 2018)

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1st in Australia and 18th in the world for Environmental Science and Engineering (ARWU 2018)

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21st in the world for Sports-related subjects (QS 2018)

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32nd in the world for Earth and Marine Science (QS 2018)

The postgraduate community at UWA is a diverse collective of some of the brightest minds from around the world. My experience at UWA has been very positive. The University provides an excellent environment for higher-level academic research and is home to a number of renowned research centres and individuals. Importantly, UWA strives to foster a diverse international research community and provides the opportunity to maintain a healthy balance between study/research and other aspects of life.

Jordan A. McDivitt - PhD student

Browse our projects

Here you can browse a selection of PhD projects across the Faculty with project descriptions, supervisor details, scholarship information and more.

  • Computational antioxidant design

    This research project will provide an innovative basis for the development of new antioxidants to alleviate or circumvent the damage resulting from HOCl-induced oxidative stress.

  • Unique components of human milk

    This research project will develop analytical methodologies to analyse components of human milk and advance the accuracy of human milk analysis.

  • Nickel catalysis in natural product synthesis

    This UWA research project focuses on the discovery and application of new methods for organic synthetic chemistry and exploiting the reactivity of transition metal complexes.

  • Reproductive and behavioural ecology of guppies

    This UWA Faculty of Science research project examines the principles driving sexual selection in guppies.

  • Think Learning Think Young

    The primary objective of this research project is to advance our understanding of age-based stereotypes as they apply to the older worker

  • Understanding sperm-egg interactions in broadcast spawning marine invertebrates

    This UWA project uses quantitative and molecular genetics to understand how egg chemoattractants function, and how the fertilization environment influences sperm egg interactions in broadcast spawning marine invertebrates.

  • Sexual selection in a complex and changing world

    This UWA project investigates how environmental and ecological factors shape patterns of sexual selection in fish, by studying the range of sexually selected traits and mechanisms exhibited under different ecological, temporal, social and physical conditions.

  • Escape responses in fiddler crabs

    This UWA research project investigates how fiddler crabs use visual information to assess risk and start their escape from predators.

  • Preparation of reactive metal complexes and their application as catalysts

    This UWA research project will develop chiral and non-chiral auxiliary ligand systems for metal-based catalysts used in bond-forming transformations.

  • Evolution of the mammalian baculum

    This UWA research project examines the effects of baculum morphology on changes in female reproductive hormones, pregnancy and embryo development.

  • Clustering in episodic memory

    This UWA research project is extending and further testing previously developed theories of clustering in episodic memory.

  • Social and economic valuation of no-take marine reserves

    This research project aims to demonstrate the social and economic value of establishing no-take marine reserves.

  • Vocal communication in the cooperatively breeding Western Australian magpie

    This UWA research project investigates the complexity of vocal communications within a group of cooperatively breeding Western Australian magpies.

  • Designing functional molecules and materials with supercomputers

    This research project uses powerful supercomputers to solve problems of chemical structure and mechanisms and for designing better catalysts, drugs and functional materials.

  • Using no-take marine reserves to study the effects of fishing

    This research project assesses how marine ecosystems can be sustainably managed and will develop novel metrics of the effects of fishing using no-take marine reserves.

  • Tackling carbohydrate processing enzymes head on

    This research project investigates the role of carbohydrate-processing enzymes implicated in human disease, antibiotic resistance and digestion.

  • What are the wheat proteins that define wheat quality, enable disease resistance and tolerate harsh environmental conditions?

    This UWA research project will assess metabolic pathway expression in wheat tissues to develop protein markers for industry.

  • Exploiting natural variation to understand molecular evolution

    This research project aims to understand the molecular events responsible for the evolution of C4 photosynthesis.

  • Smoke alarm: Discovering new signalling compounds that operate in plants

    The aims of this UWA research project are to investigate diverse sources of biological material for karrikin-like activity using existing bioassays and develop new bioassays, and characterise them with karrikins to determine their performance .

  • Balancing the competing interests of land and fire management to secure a competitive beekeeping industry

    This UWA research project addresses the social, political and ecological barriers and opportunities barriers and opportunities which exist in developing a license to operate in the WA beekeeping industry. Aiming to increase productivity and profitability of beekeepers, and to increase understanding of the competing interests in the management of honey bee hive sites in WA.

  • Improving decision making for crop pest biosecurity

    This UWA research project investigates ways of controlling the biosecurity risk to crop production by pests and disease without using environmentally damaging pesticides.

  • Restoration of degraded pasture exposed to localised salinity and erosion

    This research project will investigate implementing novel regenerative agriculture practices during the restoration of degraded pasture exposed to localised salinity and erosion.

  • Real time portable genome sequencing for global food security

    This research project aims to improve global food security by using real-time genome sequencing to diagnose viruses attacking cassava.

  • Understanding how salinity damages wheat and barley crops

    This research project will build a more complete picture of global protein expression changes in salt-stressed wheat or barley seedling roots.

  • Productivity and efficiency analysis

    This UWA research project investigates relative performance and productivity change in the agricultural, manufacturing and service industries.

  • Deciphering chemical signaling processes during plant development

    This UWA research project investigates how plants use chemical signals to control their growth and development in response to different environments.

  • Revisiting Mendels peas in the age of genomics

    This UWA research project will generate a gene pool for field peas, as a model for efficient genomic selection in crop plants.

  • Computational genomics: Understanding the genome

    This UWA research project collects and analyses plant genome data and how these adapt to pests, pathogens and environmental change.

  • Quantifying ecosystem services of Dung beetles across Australia

    PhD projects are offered as part of a large-scale initiative funded by Meat and Livestock Australia and the Australian Federal Government to quantify dung beetle activity.

  • Characterisation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, herbicides and novel fertiliser interactions for sustainable agriculture

    This UWA research project investigates how soil microbes contribute to nutrient cycling and the efficiency of fertiliser use.

  • Omics analyses of yield and yield components for improved wheat production

    This UWA research project is investigating how to improve wheat production using genetics and omics tools, with a focus on dryland environments.

  • Exploiting chemical signals to boost plant performance

    Understanding how plants perceive and respond to changes in their environment is fundamental to improving the performance of crops in the field. This UWA project aims to define the function of the karrikin signalling pathway in plant physiology and establish how it interacts with that of other plant hormones.

  • Which cellular cues regulate seasonal perception and shoot growth

    This project will investigate the convergence of oxygen, redox and energy cues in regulating the cell cycle in plant meristems. Studies can span several domains, from the apical meristem of Arabidopsis or tomato, to the axillary quiescent or dormant buds of perennial species.

  • Protein turnover to measure the role of degradation in the costs of cell function and the acclimation of plants to environments

    This research project considers which protein features are responsible for degradation rates and builds evidence for changing protein turnover.

  • Role of soil microorganisms

    This research project will investigate the roles of soil organisms in nutrient cycling in horticultural and agricultural production systems.

  • Mechanisms of microbial release of nitrogen and phosphorus for nutrient recovery from waste resources

    This research project will investigate soil microbial mechanisms of nitrogen and phosphorus release from organic soil amendments and fertilisers.

  • Secondary metabolite biosynthesis

    This UWA research project uses functional genomics to identify gene clusters in the fungal pathogens that may encode secondary metabolites.

  • Discovering how respiration affects plant development

    This research project uses knockout and overexpressing lines of plant specific complex II subunits to characterise their functions.

  • Tackling carbohydrate processing enzymes head on

    This research project investigates the role of carbohydrate-processing enzymes implicated in human disease, antibiotic resistance and digestion.

  • Nectar production and quality for honey bee products

    This UWA project is exploring the potential for Western Australian leptospermum species’ nectar to produce medicinal honey. Understanding the physiology of nectar production will help the beekeeping industry produce more honey.

  • Subterranean clover genomic resources: Building a comprehensive platform for molecular breeding

    This UWA research project seeks to develop a comprehensive pre-breeding research and development plan for annual legumes.

  • Discovering the roles for mitochondrial metabolite transporters in plants

    This UWA research project analyses mutant plant lines, metabolic analysis of responses and transporter studies to define transport protein function.

  • The economics of recreational fishing management

    This UWA research project uses recreational fishing data to develop models that identify the determinants of anglers’ site choice and their values to provide useful information for resource managers and others concerned about how fish stocks are managed.

  • Agent-based modelling of land use policy effects

    Combining whole-farm economic modelling and hydrologic models, this UWA project investigates the effects of government policies on land use, farm profitability and environmental outcomes.

  • Using big-data science in fisheries and marine conservation

    This research project uses fisheries big-data to address strategic policy questions and national needs of Indian Ocean Rim countries.

  • Late Paleozoic-Mesozoic geological evolution

    This project focuses on the tectonic history of continental and arc terranes, including the closure of ocean basins across the Sukhothai (volcanic arc) Terrane, Nan Suture Zone and western Indochina Terrane.

  • Predicting China's peak carbon emissions and compliance costs

    This UWA research project aims to predict the timing and magnitude of peak emissions and quantifying the environmental compliance costs in China.

  • Fisheries ecology and oceanography to inform management of the western rock lobster

    This UWA research project is proposed to repeat sampling conducted in the region during late 1980's in the region and investigate linkages to rock lobster life-history dynamics and productivity.

  • Synthetic biology tools for biosynthesis

    This UWA research project investigates novel molecules from sequenced fungal genomes for application in medicine and agriculture.

  • 3D geology modelling and inversion

    This UWA research project is part of the Automated 3D Modelling module in the MinEx CRC and the Loop Consortium, an international effort to develop an open source solution to the next generation of 3D modelling tools.

  • Corporate geographies

    Cities have assumed a new importance as engines of innovation and primary sites for economic growth. This research project will inform policy and enhance decision-making capacity by policymakers, industry groups, and individual firms.

  • Using satellite data to enhance our understanding of fisheries

    This research project integrates data from different research groups to gain a greater understanding of high seas fishing.

  • Learning in automated environments

    This UWA research project investigates automation-induced complacency as a consequence of learning in complex work environments.

  • Filling the risk factor gap

    This UWA research project looks at the beneficial effects of exercise on vascular function and health, with a focus on blood flow and blood pressure.

  • Mindfulness in clinical psychology

    This research project will focus on the effects of mindfulness on emotional processing

  • A new type of exercise to improve the health of patients with heart failure

    The purpose of this UWA research project is to comprehensively investigate the effectiveness of eccentric exercise training in patients with heart failure using a novel training paradigm.

  • Alexithymia - Assessment and Intervention

    This UWA project looks at the assessment and intervention of Alexithymia, the inability to identify or describe ones emotions.

  • The Preventia study

    This UWA research project looks at whether manipulation of arterial shear stress enhances cerebrovascular function and cognition in the ageing brain. The project will follow healthy participants over 50 to investigate the benefits of land-based walking and water-based walking on memory and cognition.

  • Testosterone and Exercise study

    This UWA research project investigates the effects of testosterone administration and exercise training on cardiovascular health outcomes in men.

  • A translational approach to determine how is our immune health under breastfeeding influence

    This research project investigates how breastmilk affects our immune health.

  • Genome mining of virulent small molecules in human fungal pathogens

    Using the synthetic biology platforms available in the lab, this UWA research project uses functional genomics to discover new strategies for novel diagnostics and therapeutics.

  • Probing the roles bacteria play in infant health

    This research project investigates the glycoconjugates found in human milk and the role how these bacteria are beneficial to infant health.

  • Applications of NanoSIMS analysis on biological studies

    This UWA research project will develop imaging techniques using novel methodology and biological applications with the state-of-the-art SIMS lab in UWA.

  • Design and development of novel therapeutics for multidrug resistant bacteria

    This project aims to use a molecular structure-guided approach to identify and optimise high potency inhibitors of a key virulence determining enzyme in bacteria for development into a novel antibiotic.

  • The Preventia study

    This UWA research project looks at whether manipulation of arterial shear stress enhances cerebrovascular function and cognition in the ageing brain. The project will follow healthy participants over 50 to investigate the benefits of land-based walking and water-based walking on memory and cognition.

  • The Brain Breaks study

    This UWA research study investigates the effect of exercise and breaks in sitting time on cognitive function in older, overweight/obese adults.

  • Investigating the role and formation of sub-nuclear bodies in disease

    This UWA research project investigates the role and formation of sub-nuclear bodies in disease.

  • Fixing the ailing heart

    This UWA research project seeks to develop therapies to improve heart function in animal models of cardiomyopathy.

  • Mechanotherapy for cancer patients using novel hydrogels

    This UWA research project aims to encapsulate cancer tissues to prevent them from migrating away while hydrogel materials release anti-cancer drugs.

  • Stem cell mechanobiology

    This UWA research project focuses on controlling stem cell fate by providing different microenvironments.

  • New tools to improve surgery

    This UWA research project addresses the need for better surgical devices by looking at the technologies available to assist surgeons.

  • Tackling carbohydrate processing enzymes head on

    This research project investigates the role of carbohydrate-processing enzymes implicated in human disease, antibiotic resistance and digestion.

  • Understanding and modifying risk of suicide

    This UWA research project is investigating the trajectories of suicidal ideation and the predictors and results of being in these different groups.

  • Agricultural and native vegetation systems in the Wheatbelt

    The West Australian Wheatbelt is an important ecosystem under threat from environmental change. This UWA project investigates how agricultural and native vegetation systems in the Wheatbelt respond to climate change.

  • Metabolic physiology of dormant and resting seeds

    Little is known of the metabolic rate of seeds of various plant species and how much it is depressed during dormancy. This UWA project will explore the diversity in metabolic rate for a variety of species of plant seeds.

  • Determining nativeness: An evolutionary approach to tracing the origin of cryptogenic plants

    Plants have been described as native in Australia if they were present during the earliest botanical surveys following British colonisation. This UWA project aims to determine the introduction history of plants in Australia and apply this information to species management.

  • Understanding ecological-economic trade-offs in environmental offsetting

    This PhD project will aim to explore the complex trade-offs that occur in environmental offsetting using an existing modelling framework that we have developed.

  • Seagrass adaptation and acclimation responses to extreme climatic events genomics and gene expression

    This UWA project takes an interdisciplinary approach incorporating plant growth, physiology and gene expression to explore responses to extreme climate change scenarios.

  • Does personality affect western ringtail possum survival

    This UWA research project assesses the personality traits of a sample of western ringtail possums and tracks their progress and survival.

  • Environmental stress as a threatening process for the western ringtail possum

    This UWA Faculty of Science research project investigates whether a stressful environment affects western ringtail possum reproduction.

  • Valuing mine site restoration and biodiversity offsets

    This UWA research project investigates the public benefit and value of mine site rehabilitation and biodiversity offsets.

  • The role of seed dormancy in future proofing seagrass populations

    This project will involve a range of skills including seagrass seed ecology, seed physiology and biology, microscopy, and aquaculture while also working within a range of marine and estuarine habitats.

  • Quantifying ecosystem services of Dung beetles across Australia

    PhD projects are offered as part of a large-scale initiative funded by Meat and Livestock Australia and the Australian Federal Government to quantify dung beetle activity.

  • Regulation of insensible evaporative water loss in birds and mammals

    We know that birds and mammals can regulate insensible evaporative water loss, but we do not understand how or why. This UWA project investigates the regulation and control capacity of insensible water loss in Australian birds and marsupials.

  • Studying social networks for environmental conservation

    This UWA research project studies the role of social networks on participation and bidding behaviour in competitive conservation tenders.

  • Ecosystem resilience of Shark Bay under changing ocean climate

    Understanding the ways marine ecosystems respond to changes in climate is critical to the future of our oceans. This UWA project studies the consequences of climate-driven changes in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area.

  • Investigating the hydrology of the Fitzroy River to protect the iconic sawfish

    Climate change and agricultural projects within the Kimberley threaten the river habitat of the iconic largetooth sawfish. This project examines these threats to the Fitzroy River, to protect the largetooth sawfish.

  • Rope bridges to restore gene flow and reduce road fatalities of western ringtail possums

    This UWA research project is investigating the success of rope bridges over Caves Road for reducing road fatalities of western ringtail possums.

How to apply

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CRICOS Code: 00126G
Updated
Tuesday, 4 December 2018 4:00 PM (this date excludes nested assets)
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