Project Information

Frogs are threatened globally with over 40% of species at risk of extinction. In Australia, the amphibian chytrid fungus is a major threat to frogs. Understanding how disease and fire interact and developing mitigation strategies to enhance resilience of frogs is at the heart of our research program. Three species of rainforest frogs are threatened in the New England Tablelands. Populations of the New England Tree Frog, Stuttering frog, and Sphagnum frog were all subject to widespread wildlife in late 2019.

There are several project topics relevant to various degrees (Honours, Masters of Science, PhD), with specifics to be decided in collaboration with each student, according to their skills and interests. Broad topics include:

  • The status and distribution of New England Tree frog in drought affected rainforest
  • The effect of habitat change (forestry, fire, grazing) on amphibian chytrid fungus in rainforest frogs
  • The impact of climate change on rainforest frogs in New England Tablelands
  • The effect of fire recovery on rainforest frogs in the New England Tablelands
  • Acoustic monitoring of rainforest frogs

The Laboratory of Applied Zoology and Ecological Restoration (LAZER). The research completed by LAZER strives to understand and mitigate threats to wildlife through experimental and empirical ecology, and community engagement. Our research is important to manage our natural resources and enable ecosystem functioning in a state of continuing environmental change in the world. Our study systems occur within the New England Tablelands, Murray-Darling Basin and Papua New Guinea. You will be part of a diverse laboratory that encourages collaboration and outreach. We encourage applicants from gender diverse, LGBTQIA+, persons with disabilities, all backgrounds and ethnicities.

Scholarship Information

The University offers RTP Domestic Stipend Scholarships for domestic candidates. This amounts to AU$28,092 per annum, tax-free for up to three years to support a full-time candidate of MSc/PhD. The level of the stipend will not be reduced over the period of the Scholarship.  In addition to the stipend, students will receive AU$3,500 p.a. as operational costs for research support toward their project. There is additional funding for operating costs through a federal bushfire recovery grant.

How to Apply

Applicants must meet UNE’s admission requirements for a Hons/MSc/PhD program. Please see the entry requirements. Applicants must submit a candidature application if they wish to apply for a scholarship. For more information on submitting a candidature application please see our how to apply/enrol webpage.

To apply for the scholarship please review the relevant application guidelines and complete the application form:

This project will suit a student with a background in ecology, conservation biology, environmental science or zoology. A love of field work is imperative and a desire to work with a range of taxa from plants and insects to reptiles and amphibians is ideal. Familiarity with statistics or a strong desire to master statistical techniques is crucial. The candidate should have a relevant background degree and demonstrated output in scientific outreach or publication is favourable. 

Scholarship and candidature applications can be submitted through AskUNE.

General Enquiries

Enquiries may be emailed to Dr Deborah Bower.

Alternatively, you can visit the Laboratory of Applied Zoology and Ecological Restoration (LAZER)

About Armidale

In an ideal location for environmental scientists and nature lovers, the University of New England is situated in the town of Armidale on the New England Tablelands. Surrounded by wild gorges, four types of rainforest and the headwaters of the Murray Darling Basin, the landscape is a naturalist’s dream. The University of New England owns several SMART farms which enable us to experimentally manipulate ecological treatments in our own back yard. Our very own Mount Duval nature reserve abuts the campus bringing echidnas, greater gliders and koalas as regular visitors.

The university boasts mountain bike tracks and prime climbing locations in close surrounds providing the opportunity for academic studies with an adventurous twist. Country life is vibrant with regular activities at the New England Regional Art Museum, local breweries and vineyards. A French Patisserie in town provides mouth-watering crepes for the refined palette and you can warm the cockles of your heart on mulled wine at Charlie’s wine bar on fresh evenings. Our community is diverse and represented by an active LGBTQIA+ contingent and many multicultural backgrounds.