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Applications close September 30: Dr Mike Bode, Dr Sam Nichol, and I have a PhD top-up scholarship available for a maths, IT, or quantitative ecology student in the field of optimal control of threatened species.  Animals do not follow simple paths when they move through heterogeneous landscapes, so modelling and managing their populations is a complex mathematical problem. In order to optimise planning of population management, we must account for spatial and temporal variability in the location and densities of populations. Fortunately, technological progress has handed us large, real-time datasets of species locations, which provide up-to-date, high resolution information. Tools from operations research and artificial intelligence can theoretically incorporate this data to produce optimal plans dictating where and when to act. The resulting plans should maximise the probability of achieving a specific management goal in complex environmental systems. We are studying how to optimally manage species that are threatened (e.g. bilbies) and others that are invasive (e.g. rats), when different levels of data are available. This project is perfectly timed to take advantage of massive increases in available data.

Applications close September 30: I have a fully funded PhD scholarship (including stipend) available for a maths or stats student (or related field) looking at using the upcoming deluge of data to drive smart decisions for agriculture. This PhD will be co-supervised by Helen Thompson, who has significant expertise in spatial statistical modelling. The work will be in collaboration with CSIRO and Data61.

I’m always interested in chatting with prospective undergrad, honours, PhD students, and postdocs. Please give some of our work a read, and contact me explaining your background and interests. Students should consider applying for one of the various scholarships QUT supports.

Prospective post-doctoral scholars should consider applying for an ARC DECRA, or the McDonnell Foundation’s complex systems post-doctoral fellowship.

 

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