Study level

  • PhD


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Matthew Adams
Research Fellow (DECRA)
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Science
Professor Michael Bode
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Science


This fully-funded PhD project provides an exciting opportunity to develop new mathematical models and theory for ecological regime shifts in Antarctica. Expertise in mathematical modelling using ordinary and/or partial differential equations will be a major advantage for the success of this project. Subject to COVID-19 restrictions, there will also be an opportunity to travel to Antarctica to visit the ecosystems you will be modelling.

This PhD project is part of a multi-university research program "Securing Antarctica's Environmental Future" . Through this program you will have the opportunity to collaborate with a wide-ranging group of experts in the biology, ecology and physics of Antarctic ecosystems to make your models as relevant and applicable as possible. Your modelling may also contribute to future decision-making for the management of Antarctica, to protect this pristine ecosystem for future generations.

Research activities

Research activities include:

  • developing and testing mathematical models of Antarctic ecosystems, to identify the potential for regime shift dynamics
  • coding mathematical models in a relevant programming language (MATLAB, R, Python and/or Julia)
  • gaining a strong scientific training in mathematics, statistics and decision science, enhancing future career prospects in research
  • participating in a strong and supportive interdisciplinary group of applied mathematicians focused on ecological problems.


This project will:

  • identify/collate various regime shifts that have occurred (or could potentially occur) in Antarctic or sub-Antarctic regions
  • develop a targeted combination of mathematical models and/or data can be used to explore the potential for regime shifts to occur in these regions
  • use the predictions of these mathematical models to inform environmental management in Antarctica.

Skills and experience

You will have expertise in (or the potential for developing expertise in) mathematical modelling of ecosystems, using ordinary and/or partial differential equation models.

The ability to code up mathematical models in an appropriate programming language (MATLAB, R, Python and/or Julia) is therefore essential for completion of the project.

Although not strictly necessary, experience in Bayesian statistics and/or decision science techniques would also be an advantage.


You may be eligible to apply for a research scholarship.

Explore our research scholarships



There is a PhD scholarship available for a suitable candidate to begin in Semester 1 2022.

Send an email to Dr Matthew Adams with your CV and describing your interest in the project. Applications close 25 February 2022.