Division of
Natural and Applied Sciences

PhD Opportunity – Starving fish – a symptom of seas under stress? 

Pink snapper, are a common and valuable fish that inhabits the Hauraki Gulf in northern New Zealand. For more than a year about 20% of harvested fish are skinny and have flesh that is an unusual cloudy color. Initial analyses indicates these poor fish are starving. The reasons for this unusual phenomena are unclear, so it needs some excellent scientific detective work to begin to solve the mystery – do you have what it takes to solve this troubling mystery for your PhD research? 
 
We are seeking applications for a PhD position to investigate the cause of the skinny snapper condition. Such a project would likely involve: (i) regular sampling of recreational snapper catches in association with community groups to describe spatial and seasonal trends, the diet of affected fish and consequences for gonad development; (ii) physiological testing (e.g. blood screening, histology etc) to determine a diagnosis for the condition; and (iii) experimental recovery trials in aquaria facilities.  
The successful candidate will have: 
-Exceptional oral and written communication skills enabling them to work closely with recreational fishers. 
-Experience with laboratory protocols and procedures. 
-The ability to conduct quantitative data analysis, e.g., univariate analyses such general linear models/general additive models and multivariate analyses such as multi-dimensional scaling. 
-Practical skills with handling animals and animal husbandry are also desirable.  
 
This is a fully funded PhD position at the University of Auckland, i.e., all stipend (tax free), tuition fees, health insurance and research expenses for three years, with the potential for extension. 
 
Please send a half page application describing what makes you a good candidate along with a CV and academic transcript to the research team: Darren Parsons (darren.parsons@niwa.co.nz), Andrew Jeffs (a.jeffs@auckland.ac.nz), and Tony Hickey (a.hickey@auckland.ac.nz).