Like bacteria, our global talent search has no borders

The Australian Centre for Genomic Epidemiological Microbiology (Ausgem) is looking to recruit a PhD student to join its research program.

  • Open to Australia and New Zealand citizens (and international students who can pay international student fees of 26K USD/year).
  • The successful candidates will be awarded $27,082 per annum, indexed, over 3.5 years..
  • Applicants are required to have the equivalent of a BSc Honours or Masters by Research degree.
  • Start your application by filling out the short form at the bottom of this page.

Elucidating the microbiological and molecular drivers of Pacific Oyster mortality episodes

In recent years, the global oyster aquaculture industry has been significantly adversely affected by oyster mortality which has led to millions of dollars in lost revenue. The Australian oyster industry has also suffered from considerable losses due to disease including Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS). The etiology of Pacific oyster diseases is complex and often poorly defined, with multiple microbiological agents including the OSHV-1 virus and a number of species of bacteria implicated in episodic mortality events.

The goal of this project will be to combine field-based studies and laboratory-based pathogen-challenge experiments to resolve the identity and molecular characteristics of the microorganisms involved in POMS. The project will involve the use of molecular microbial ecology approaches (e.g. 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing and transcriptomics) in conjunction with molecular biological and genetic approaches (including gene knock-out studies) to identify putative oyster pathogens and characterise their modes of virulence. The outcomes of this project will be relevant within the context of both (i) the microbial ecology of disease in aquatic organisms and (ii) the application of cutting-edge scientific approaches to solve production-limiting hindrances to the aquaculture industry.

Desirable skills and qualifications:

  • A demonstrated understanding of concepts in molecular microbial ecology
  • Drivers licence

This project will be supervised by Associate Professor Justin Seymour. Additional supervision will be provided Associate Professor Maurizio Labbate (UTS) and Dr Cheryl Jenkins (DPI).

The Australian Centre for Genomic Epidemiological Microbiology (Ausgem) was initiated as a collaborative partnership between the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute and the ithree institute at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and has now grown to include other UTS researchers. Ausgem also has strong links with major hospitals, primary producers, and other microbiology groups within Australia, as well as active collaborations in the UK and Europe. Ausgem’s research program focuses on the use of DNA technologies to strengthen the State’s capacity to identify and respond to biosecurity threats, manage food safety, and increase agricultural productivity.

Ausgem brings together academic and government researchers who collectively aim to identify and mitigate the risk of infectious disease through the use of DNA sequencing technologies and bioinformatics.

Ausgem’s surveillance techniques for new and emerging diseases will help equip doctors, farmers, and policy makers with better tools to protect our food supply, human and animal health, and the environment: a concept known as One Health.

Our scientists also study the effectiveness of interventions such as prebiotics, probiotics and vaccines in disease management.

PhD Scholarship Expression of Interest

Application timelines can be found here . However, exceptions can be made so please get in touch asap.

To start your application, complete the form below (all fields are compulsory):




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