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June 2021

Research project: "PhD project: Developing seaweed aquaculture production of Australian ‘hijiki’ alternatives"

Primary supervisor: Dr. Cecilia Biancacci, Deakin Warrnambool
Co-supervisor(s) with affiliation and location: Dr. Alecia Bellgrove, Deakin Warrnambool

Intended location(s) of student: Deakin Warrnambool


We are seeking a highly-motivated Ph.D. student to join our DeakinSeaweed research group for a project based at the Deakin Warrnambool Campus examining the potential for cultivation and commercial production of two Australian brown seaweeds that show promise as alternatives to the popular Japanese Hijiki (Sargassum fusiforme) to supply growing lucrative domestic and export markets for safe‐ and sustainably‐grown seaweeds.

The project will combine 1) biological observations and analyses to assess the reproductive biology and seasonality of wild populations, 2) aquaculture techniques at a hatchery scale with the potential to scale up the production system for commercial production, 3) biochemical analyses to investigate potential commercial applications and markets of the selected species.

The research will contribute to increasing the knowledge of the biology and life cycle of the selected species, in order to apply this to sustainable aquaculture.

Applications are welcomed from Domestic and International onshore students only. You must be competitive for a Ph.D. scholarship at Deakin University (currently valued at approximately AU$28,600 for 3 years with the possibility of a 6-month extension). Australian Honours graduates with an H1A and score above 85% will be considered; international applicants should ideally have several first-authored papers in peer-reviewed international journals with Q1 Scimago journal ranking ( PhDs at Deakin University are 3 years and free of tuition fees for scholarship holders if completed within the 3-year time frame.

Interested applicants should send (to 1) a brief CV (including a list of any peer-reviewed papers) and 2) a 1-2 page cover letter stating reasons for wanting to do a Ph.D., a summary of research experience, information on how your skills will be relevant to the project, and a statement about your undergraduate track record including information on your grade point average.

For further information or to submit your interest contact Dr. Cecilia Biancacci at

January 2021


Research project: "Assessing the interactions between kelp farming and the biofouling community"

Primary supervisor: Dr Elisabeth Strain (IMAS-Taroona)
Co-supervisor(s) with affiliation and location: A/Prof. Catriona MacLeod (IMAS – Battery Point) and Dr. Wouter Visch (IMAS – Battery Point)

Intended location(s) of student: Taroona/Battery Point


We are currently advertising a position within the CRC-P project for an enthusiastic Honours or Master student interested in seaweed aquaculture.

The research project will investigate the interactions between finfish and kelp farming on the associated biofouling and macro-invertebrate communities.

The results of the thesis will provide quantitative measurements of the effects of different types of kelp farming, on the biofouling community of 2 different species of cultured kelps. Furthermore, the findings of this study may offer novel insights into the best timing for culturing kelps in the IMTA system. The student will learn key skills in fieldwork (e.g. diving), taxonomy, and quantitative ecology. The project will involve both laboratory and field work and data analyses.

For further information, please contact Dr. Wouter Visch at 

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