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Research Institute for Environment and Livelihoods

Current postgraduate projects

Find out what our students are investigating
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Our 50+ PhD and Masters students are working across northern Australia, in Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Nepal, Ecuador and other locations.

Project topics range from the life history of mouth brooding fish, to food security, carbon farming, climate change and more.

Project supervisors are world-renown in their fields and welcome interest from new students. If you are inspired by these projects CDU is keen to accommodate your needs and link you with funding opportunities.

Current postgraduate projects, sorted by degree, research area, and alphabetically by student's first name

Honours projects
The impacts of cane toads on the distribution of a variety of vertebrates across northern Australia

Student: Amy Pilmore

Supervisor: Brett Murphy

Evaluating the short-term success of a translocation of brush-tailed rabbit-rat (Conilurus penicillatus) onto an offshore island at Cobourg Peninsula

Student: Bryn Pickering

Supervisor: Sam Banks

Kinship dynamics of critically endangered freshwater sawfish in the Daly River

Student: Sam Amini

Supervisor: Peter Kyne

Using remote sensing to identify environmental impacts of the growing Northern Territory estuarine crocodile populations

Student: Tayhlia Casey

Supervisor: Mariana Campbell

Assessing the impacts of wind direction and water point location on sheep grazing patterns in arid environments

Student: Samantha Connor

Supervisor: Beth Penrose

Synthetic aperture radar remote sensing techniques for the detection of groundwater dependent ecosystems, and the associated depth to groundwater thresholds required to sustain them, in the NT's arid zone

Student: James Pike

Supervisor: Richard Crabbe

A review of catchment management strategies: Towards an adaptive management plan in the Lower Burdekin Delta

Student: Joel Smith

Supervisor: Dylan Irvine

Masters projects
To what extent does prescribed burning leverage unburnt habitat in subsequent years in central Australian ecosystems?

Student: Rachel Murphy

Supervisor: Stephen Garnett

Rating an applicants corporate social responsibility

Student: Andrew Hunt

Supervisor: Kamaljit Sangha

PhD projects

Biodiversity Conservation

The role of disturbances in the distribution and resilience of the savannah-forest mosaics of AsiaStudent: Áine Nicholson
The ecology of the geckos in Girraween National Park, Queensland

Student: Adrian Gurra

Supervisor: Keith Christian

Identifying and Conserving Critical Shark Habitat through a Multidisciplinary Approach

Student: Adriana Gonzalez Pestana

Supervisor: Peter Kyne

Using landscape genetics and other tools to understand how spatial patterns of fire affect the dispersal and persistence of mammals on the Tiwi Islands

Student: Alex Carey

Supervisor: Sam Banks

eDNA and metabarcoding of terrestrial invertebrates as bioindicators in environmental monitoring

Student: Allyson Malpartida

Supervisor: Alan Andersen

Implementing deep learning architectures to extract vegetation species composition from drone-based hyperspectral images.

Student: Andrew Esparon

Supervisor: Lindsay Hutley

The effects of disturbance (primarily fire and grazing) on lizards in Australian tropical savannas

Student: Angga Rachmansah

Supervisor: Alan Andersen

Attitudinal and behavioural changes in audiences caused by the experience of environmental art

Student: Anthony Albrecht

Supervisor: Stephen Garnett

Examining shark and ray catches in small-scale fisheries of the Riau islands to inform conservation planning of a critically endangered wedge fish

Student: Benaya Simeon

Supervisor: Peter Kyne

Global Science: Governance, Equity & Diversity

Student: Claire Johnston (CJ)

Supervisor: Stephen Garnett

Management of global fisheries to aid the conservation of sharks

Student: Dave Drynan

Supervisor: Stephen Garnett

Threatened Marine Species Bycatch Mitigation in Northern Australian Fisheries

Student: Emily Taljaard

Supervisor: Joni Pini-Fitzsimmons

Management for the conservation of the northern quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus) at Weipa

Student: Gavin Trewella

Supervisor: Brett Murphy

Investigating the interactions of threatening processes that drive mammal population trends on the Tiwi Islands

Student: Georgina Neave

Supervisor: Brett Murphy

The conservation ecology of the greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis)

Student: Hayley Geyle

Supervisor: Stephen Garnett

The effectiveness of the northern long-necked turtle as an umbrella species in the conservation of wetland ecosystems in northern australia, and feasibility of commercialization through understanding nest ecology and incubation

Student: Helen Truscott

Supervisor: Erica Garcia

Movement ecology and natural mortality of threatened river sharks: informing conservation planning.

Student: Julia Constance

Supervisor: Peter Kyne

Ecophysiological specialisation of short-range and widespread Gehyra species

Student: Kade (Nukha) Skelton

Supervisor: Keith Christian

Investigating the connection between individual-based movements and population dynamics of grass finches in northern Australia

Student: Mara Franziska Muller

Supervisor: Hamish Campbell

Effects of climate and oceanographic change on tropical marine fish and fisheries

Student: Matthew Hammond

Supervisor: Keller Kopf

The habitat use and genetics of green turtles in the Northern Territory

Student: Natalie Robson

Supervisor: Sam Banks

Spatial characterization of physiognomic properties of African savanna vegetation for quantification of bushfire emissions and the impact of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana)

Student: Othusitse Lekoko

Supervisor: Jeremy Russell-Smith

The calibration of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) using uncooled thermal cameras and how the accuracy varies with atmospheric conditions and flight elevation

Student: Razib Ahmed

Supervisor: Hamish Campbell

Governance of savanna burning carbon projects: maximising beneficial outcomes

Student: Taegan Calnan

Supervisor: Jeremy Russell-Smith

Response of the glossy black cockatoo to the catastrophic 2019-20 Kangaroo Island fires

Student: Trish Mooney

Supervisor: Stephen Garnett

Microbiota and tropical rock oyster health

Student: Zarah Tinning

Supervisor: Anna Padovan

Communities and Livelihoods

Enhancing red rice production in lowland areas of Timor-Leste: variety selection, soil improvement and technology transfer to farmers

Student: Acacio Da Costa Guterres

Supervisor: Penny Wurm

Optimising coastal marine debris management through RPAS remote sensing and AI-enabled solutions

Student: Aliesha Hvala

Supervisor: Hamish Campbell

Spatial analysis identifying where in the Northern Territory is suitable for sustainable development of utility-scale solar farms

Student: Billee McGinley

Supervisor: Stephen Garnett

Agronomic investigations of australian native rice species to support indigenous enterprise development in the northern territory, australia

Student: Gehan Abdelghany

Supervisor: Sean Bellairs

Forest-based climate change adaptation for reducing local people's vulnerability

Student: Getahun Kassa Mengesha

Supervisor: Kamaljit Sangha

Green synthesis of metal nanoparticles using Terminalia ferdinandiana leaf extract: characterization and evaluation of their biological activities

Student: Hansi Alwis

Supervisor: Vinuthaa Murthy

Ecological processes compromising the consumption of long-necked turtles (Chelodina oblonga) in the Finniss River floodplain, Northern Territory, Australia

Student: Isabel Ely

Supervisor: Stephen Garnett

Developing effective and equitable conservation benefit-sharing mechanisms for local people in the greater Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania

Student: Juma Joseph Kegamba

Supervisor: Kamaljit Sangha

The role and contribution of mangroves to gendered food and nutrition security and livelihoods in the Indo-Pacific region

Student: Lulu Middleton

Supervisor: Natasha Stacey

Changing times, changing tides: Women's engagement in the Northern Territory seafood sector

Student: Nilanjana Biswas

Supervisor: Natasha Stacey

Vulnerability, resilience and adaptation to Sama-Bajo women fisher livelihood disruptions in Indonesia

Student: Nur Isiyana Wianti

Supervisor: Natasha Stacey

Developing ecosystem services based economic opportunities for indigenous communities in northern Australia

Student: Oscar Metcalfe

Supervisor: Kamaljit Sangha

Connections between the wellbeing of indigenous communities and their lands.

Student: Samy Leyton

Supervisor: Kamaljit Sangha

Northern Agriculture

Development of aquaculture techniques for Black Jewfish (Protonibea diacanthus), a new species to aquaculture in Australia

Student: Andrea Taylor

Supervisor: Sunil Kadri

NT Rain-fed Cotton: Predicting Yields and Saving Water

Student: Jyothi Bhandari

Supervisor: Stephen Xu

Crop monitoring in the NT through remote sensing applications

Student: Pablo Arriaga Velasco Aceves

Supervisor: Stephen Xu

Understanding gene flow and population structure in an animal disease insect vector

Student: Tomoko (Tomo) Okazaki

Supervisor: Maxine Piggott

Savanna and arid ecology

Simulating Long-term Erosion Equilibrium of a Rehabilitated Mine Landform

Student: Devika Nair

Supervisor: Sean Bellairs

Hollows, termites and long-term fire regimes in tropical savannas

Student: Ellen Rochelmeyer

Supervisor: Brett Murphy

Does buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) invasion impact plant-animal interactions in an arid system?

Student: Ellen Ryan-Colton

Supervisor: Christine Schlesinger

Responses of ant communities to environmental stress and disturbance in Australian tropical savannas: Are the hypogaeic and epigaeic strata decoupled?

Student: François Brassard

Supervisor: Alan Andersen

Environmental and disturbance regime constraints on savanna carbon storage in northern Australia

Student: Linda Luck

Supervisor: Lindsay Hutley

Water and Catchments

Predicting gaseous evasion from streams across tropical Australia

Student: Adam Rexroade

Supervisor: Clement Duvert

Rainfall characterisation to inform hydrological and hydrogeological insights across northern Australia

Student: Candy Duff

Supervisor: Dylan Irvine

Climate change, river flows and predator trophic ecology in tropical river-floodplains of northern Australia

Student: Colton Perna

Supervisor: Keller Kopf

Future climate change impacts on North Australia water resources

Student: Frédérique Mourot

Supervisor: Dylan Irvine

Environmental and ecological characterisation of subsurface waters in the Magela Creek sand channel

Student: Lisa Chandler

Supervisor: Jenny Davis

Buffering the rising tide: Mangrove sediment response to accelerating sea level rise in Australia

Student: Madeline Goddard

Supervisor: Lindsay Hutley

PFAS removal from water using hydrotalcite and hydrotalcite nanoparticles

Student: Maria Ali

Supervisor: Vinuthaa Murthy

The influence of landcover and other environmental controls on groundwater yields in Sumba, Indonesia.

Student: Penelope Godwin

Supervisor: Penny Wurm

Climate Change and Water Extraction Impacts on Wetlands Condition in Northern Australia

Student: Porni Mollick

Supervisor: Kaline De Mello

The ecology and behaviour of terrestrial avifauna associated with long-lasting waterholes of central Australia.

Student: Simon Votto

Supervisor: Jenny Davis

Exploring continental-scale groundwater-related processes using Australia-wide hydrogeochemical data

Student: Stephen Lee

Supervisor: Dylan Irvine

Understanding the impact of climate change on freshwater floodplain wetlands, with special focus on aquatic invertebrates and larval fish

Student: Tegan Dedman

Supervisor: Keller Kopf

The importance of carbon fluxes from seasonal wetlands to streams at a catchment scale in the wet-dry tropics

Student: Vanessa Solano

Supervisor: Lindsay Hutley

Magpie geese held by RIEL staff
We're looking for researchers

Available postgraduate projects

Are you interested in doing a research project? If so, find out what projects we have available. If you’d rather bring your own idea, simply contact a supervisor working in that area.

What's on offer
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