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Research Institute for Environment and Livelihoods

Current postgraduate projects

Find out what our students are investigating
RIEL staff with colleagues image

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.

  • Development and assessment of a led device for continuous measurement of plant canopy reflectance spectra

    Student: Andrew Esparon

    Supervisor: Stefan Maier/Lindsay Hutley

    Evaluation of mine site rehabilitation with a focus on restoration of the traditional indigenous cultural values of the affected land

    Student: Will Kemp

    Supervisor: Sean Bellairs

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

    Student: Rachel Murphy

    Supervisor: Stephen Garnett

  •  Biodiversity conservation

    Conservation governance of red panda habitat in Nepal

    Student: Manoj Bhatta

    Supervisor: Stephen Garnett

    The impacts and benefits of keeping threatened elasmobranchs (sharks & rays) in public aquaria

    Student: Kathryn Buckley

    Supervisor: Peter Kyne

    Understanding and mitigating the aggregative behaviour of the magpie goose on mango orchards in the northern territory

    Student: Amelie Corriveau                             

    Supervisor: Hamish Campbell

    Plants and animals we worry for: Tiwi and conservationist priorities for biodiversity management on the Tiwi Islands

    Student: Thomas Duncan

    Supervisor: Stephen Garnett

    The movements and health of the Gouldian Finch, "Erythrura gouldiae", population at the Mount Todd gold mine

    Student: Sarah Fischer

    Supervisor: Andrew Edwards

    Conservation ecology of the Alligators Rivers Yellow Chat Ephthianura crocea tunneyi

    Student: Robin Leppitt

    Supervisor: Stephen Garnett

    Shorebird ecology in Darwin Harbour

    Student: Amanda Lilleyman

    Supervisor: Stephen Garnett

    Are evolutionary refugia traps for endemic species

    Student: Karlee Peacock

    Supervisor: Keith Christian

    The movement ecology of magpie goose (Anseranus semipalmata); implications for management in the northern territory

    Student: Rebecca Rogers

    Supervisor: Hamish Campbell

    Responses of threatened species to cat baiting in the Pilbara

    Student: William Ross

    Supervisor: Brett Murphy

    Human mobility and the arrival and dispersal of alien species on the galapagos islands, ecuador

    Student: Veronica Toral-Granda

    Supervisor: Stephen Garnett

    Management for the conservation of the northern quoll at weipa

    Student: Gavin Trewella

    Supervisor: Brett Murphy

    Communities and livelihoods

    Animal-source food and vegetable garden programs for food and nutrition security in Timore-Leste:  evaluation through a gender lens      

    Student: Gianna Bonis-profumo

    Supervisor: Natasha Stacey

    An evaluation of participatory approaches to community empowerment for management of mangrove-aquaculture agroecosystems in south Sulawesi, Indonesia                          

    Student: Benjamin Brown

    Supervisor: Natasha Stacey

    Core benefits of the carbon farming industry

    Student: Taegan Calnan

    Supervisor: Jeremy Russell-Smith

    Savanna fire management, resources, methods and effectiveness.  A case study of the Arnhem Plateau region

    Student: Jay Evans

    Supervisor: Jeremy Russell-Smith

    3D landscape process simulation:  agent-based model applications for participatory planning and capacity building

    Student: Rohan Fisher

    Supervisor: Stephen Garnett

    A gendered analysis of fishing and contribution to food and nutrition security in a rural coastal community in eastern Indonesia

    Student: Emily Gibson

    Supervisor: Natasha Stacey

    Indigenous enterprise development, population ecology and phenotype variation of the tropical tree, Terminalla ferdinandiana, in the Thamarrurr region of Northern Territory, Australia

    Student: Julian Gorman

    Supervisor: Dr Penny Wurm

    Coastal livelihoods, small scale fisheries dependance and marine conservation in Savu-Raijua district, eastern Indonesia

    Student: Pia Louise Harkness

    Supervisor: Natasha Stacey

    Investigating gender transformation through participatory fisheries management and monitoring in Timor-Leste

    Student: Jennifer House

    Supervisor: Natasha Stacey

    Ecological, social and food-security dimensions of Timor-Leste's sardine fishery

    Student: Kimberley Hunnam

    Supervisor: Natasha Stacey

    Energy futures in remote Australia: energy access and livelihoods in remote aboriginal homelands

    Student: Catherine Joyce

    Supervisor: Stephen Garnett

    Energy efficiency of houses and best practice urban design in the Top End

    Student: Shokhida Safarova

    Supervisor: Stephen Garnett

    Towards culturally appropriate fire management in the waanyi and garawa iands:  impediments, opportunities, and key challenges

    Student: Katherine Van Wezel

    Supervisor: Jeremy Russell-Smith

    Savanna and arid ecology

    Ants as "little things that run the world":  the effect of removing a dominant invertebrate on the functioning of tropical savanna ecosystems  

    Student: Sarah Bonney

    Supervisor: Keith Mcguinness

    The influence of fire regimes on foraging efficiency in granivorous birds

    Student: Sydney Collett

    Supervisor: Hamish Campbell

    Catchment hydrology in the wet dry tropics – what are the drivers of spring yield variability in east Sumba, Indonesia?

    Student: Penelope Godwin

    Supervisor: Penny Wurm

    Environmental and disturbance regime constraints to carbon farming in northern Australia

    Student: Linda Luck

    Supervisor: Shaun Levick

    Fire ecology and management of sandstone health vegetation in north Australia

    Student: Harry Macdermott

    Supervisor: Brett Murphy

    Competitive interactions among eucalypts and non-eucalypts tree population in the northern Australian savannas

    Student: Hari Paramjyothi Venugopal

    Supervisor: Brett Murphy

    Community ecology of the avifauna of acacia shrublands in central Australia

    Student: Bruce Pascoe

    Supervisor: Christine Schlesinger

    Arboreal mammals and tree hollows in the tropical savannas

    Student: Cara Penton

    Supervisor: Brett Murphy

    Biological study of weed flora of arable crops and their organic control

    Student: Muhammad Salman Quddus

    Supervisor: Sean Bellairs

    Does buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) invasion impact plant-animal interactions in an arid system? Resource availability, bird populations and ecosystem function

    Student: Ellen Ryan-Colton

    Supervisor: Christine Schlesinger

    Predicting terrestrial vertebrate interactions at arid zone waterhole microrefugia under a warming climate

    Student: Simon Votto

    Supervisor: Jenny Davis

    How do the river red gum characteristics influence the composition of animal species in central Australian riverine woodlands

    Student: Erin Louise Westerhuis

    Supervisor: Christine Schlesinger

    Water and catchments

    Life history of mouth-brooding freshwater fishes in the rivers of the northern territory

    Student: Janine Abecia

    Supervisor: Alison King

    Understanding the efficiency and efficacy of underwater video cameras for surveying and monitoring freshwater fishes in tropical wet lands

    Student: Bryan Baker

    Supervisor: Alison King

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

    Student: Lisa Chandler

    Supervisor: Jenny Davis

    Food safety in a remote island community in northern Australia - role of phytoplankton in metal accumulation and potential for toxin accumulation

    Student: Julia Fortune

    Supervisor: Karen Gibb

    Forests facing the rising tide:  the future of regional mangroves under anthropogenic stress

    Student: Madeline Goddard

    Supervisor: Lindsay Hutley

    Ecology and biology of exploited sharks in offshore fisheries of Northern Territory, Australia

    Student: Amy Kirke

    Supervisor: David Crook

    Understanding feral pig (Sus scrofa) spatial distribution, abundance and peak use in the northern Australian wetlands

    Student: Shandala Loving

    Supervisor: Hamish Campbell

    Assessing the distribution, abundance and movement of marine megafauna in Northern Territory waters, Australia

    Student: Ruth Patterson

    Supervisor: Hamish Campbell

    Drivers of diadromous migration in tropical Australian fishes

    Student: Brien Roberts

    Supervisor: David Crook

    The life cycle, biology, wastewater and sediment remediation of the polychaete worm marphysa fauchaldi (barra bloodworm)

    Student: Alea Rose

    Supervisor: Karen Gibb

    Allochthonous and autochthonous carbon accumulation in tropical mangrove ecosystems of West Papua

    Student: Sigit Sasmito

    Supervisor: Lindsay Hutley

    Co2 export from tropical river systems

    Student: Vanessa Solano

    Supervisor: Lindsay Hutley

    Reproductive ecology of australia's wet-dry tropical freshwater fish: insights into environmental and hydrological determinants of fish production

    Student: Kyle Tyler

    Supervisor: Alison King

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.

Magpie geese held by RIEL staff