seascape models

PhD projects on marine conservation and ecosystem modelling available

Current until March 2023

Our lab uses quantitative tools, including statistics, AI and numerical models, to help conservation managers address a range of issue facing marine ecosystems. Below are two current projects where we are recruiting students.

We excel in training students to be outstanding science communicators, who’s work has real-world impact. Chris’ supervision style thus emphasizes quantitative training and networking with a diverse range of scientists and stakeholders. For instance, our students frequently partner with conservation groups such that their research is directly addressing a pressing environmental management issue.

Conservation and restoration of coastal habitats

Work with the team on Global Wetlands Project to help solve pressing challenges for conservation of coastal wetland habitats. PhD and Honours projects available to work on predicting the impact of climate change on coastal restoration and ecosystem services. Email Chris ( for more information. PhD and honours projects available.

Predicting unprecedented ecological futures

We are entering an era of science where ecosystem change is uncharted by historical observations. Observations are the foundation of predictive science, so how can we predict a future that is outside the envelope of the environments?

Work with our team to address the question of how we predict ecological futures, to inform management for marine and coastal ecosystems. Humanities footprint on the Earth’s ecosystem has never been greater. The oceans are increasingly being industrialized, and climate change means the footprint of human economic activity now touches even the most remote ecosystems.

Coastal ecosystems exemplify the challenges we face in managing our growing impacts. Coasts are the thin line on which much of the human population and industrial activity rests. This human activity places great pressures on coastal ecosystems, and in many places we are losing species and the ecological functions that support human livelihoods, like fisheries.

Predicting the future for coastal ecosystems is critical for creating a sustainable relationship between humanity and nature. Ecological predictions allow us to identify options for better managing our relationship with ecosystems.

Criteria for potential PhD applicants

Please consider the below criteria before contacting us. We will not be considering students for applications that do not meet these criteria, because they will not be competitive for funded positions. Further details on Griffith University’s application process can be found here.

Our primary research methods are quantitative tools. Potential applicants should have either experience in quantiative methods like R, or a very strong desire to learn more quantitative skills. Chris does not supervise projects that are primarily field or lab based, except as cosupervisor with other group leaders.

Our students come with training in a diverse range of fields, including field ecology, maths and IT. Our lab group is outstanding at supporting quantitative training and current PhD students have ample opportunities to learn quantitative skills by working with their peers, postdoctoral researchers, Chris and through specialized training courses.

Australian students

Australian citizens and permanent residents should have been awarded a 1st Class Honours degree or equivalent (e.g. Masters by research) in a relevant field.

International students

Due to international travel restrictions international student scholarships are currently extremely limited. To be competitive for a scholarship international students should have been awarded a 1st Class Honours degree or equivalent (e.g. Masters with a 40 credit point research thesis) in a relevant field. They must be lead author on at least one publication in an internationally recognized peer-reviewed journal. To be considered, journals should be internationally recognized, for instance they should have an Impact Factor rating from ISI or be listed by Scimago.

Preference will be given to international students who are already located in Australia.

Contact: Chris Brown

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