Evolution of mating systems in weeds
Explore and model the evolutionary dynamics of breeding systems in Australian weed species and determine the implications for spread, persistence and control.
Invasive weeds can have an enormous negative impact on natural ecosystems and our economy. Their success is largely due to their ability to rapidly colonise and adapt to novel environments and conditions. For example, some weedy species are able to shift their mating system in recently colonised areas. However, we do not know what conditions drive those rapid changes in plant-mating systems.
Understanding the ecological factors and genetic mechanisms involved in the evolution of plant reproductive systems is key to prevent the spread and persistence of weeds.
In this project you will study the evolutionary dynamics of breeding systems in Australian weeds and determine possible implications for their eradication and control.
Using an important Australian weed, wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum), this project will develop ecological and evolutionary simulation models to determine the conditions of plant-mating system shifts and their demographic and genetic consequences.
Greenhouse experiments, field work and state-of-the-art genomic analyses will be used to parameterise models and test their predictions.
The position is an excellent opportunity for a student with experience and interest in evolutionary ecology, theoretical biology and/or genomic analyses.
- Francisco Encinas-Viso, Australian National Herbarium, CSIRO (Francisco.Encinas-Viso@csiro.au)
- ANU supervisor - tba
About the CSIRO Postgraduate Scholarship Program
- 2018 start
- $7,000pa top-up stipend and $10,000pa operating
The CSIRO Postgraduate Scholarship Program provides opportunities in science and engineering for outstanding graduates at Australian tertiary institutions.
Each year, the Program supports postgraduate scholarships for students to work on a project relevant to one of several priority research areas. Students are co-supervised by researchers in an Australian university and CSIRO.
Top-up PhD Scholarships are available to PhD students who have gained (or expect to gain), first class honours or equivalent in relevant research areas. Students must currently be, or be able to be, enrolled in a PhD program at ANU and will need to be awarded a main source of funding (a full scholarship), ie. in addition to applying for the CSIRO scholarship (via CSIRO’s careers portal), at the same time (or before) they will also need to apply via the ANU online system and be successful in receiving either an:
- Australian Government Research Training Program International Fee Offset Scholarship (applications close 31 Aug);
- Australian Government Research Training Program Stipend Scholarship (applications close 31 Oct); or
- ANU PhD scholarship (applications close 31 Oct).
Projects will be advertised via CSIRO’s careers portal from mid September 2017. Applications close 31 October 2017.
Before applying, prospective students should get in touch with both the CSIRO and ANU supervisors to discuss the project.