Exciting PhD opportunity with our team at UQ science! Learn skills in modeling and genetics and join us in making a positive impact on agriculture and food security; Physiological traits to improve yield stability in barley: This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

The Australian barley industry – valued at $3 billion per annum – is renowned globally and prized by domestic markets for producing grain with high malt and feed qualities. However, barley production in Australia is highly variable and dependent on seasonal rainfall, with some Australian varieties failing to meet stringent product specifications.

This PhD project will investigate the value of key physiological traits across Australian environments as part of a broader ARC Linkage Project with leading breeding company InterGrain, which aims to deliver new, genetically-enhanced cultivars via selection of the grain’s most optimal traits.

Using cutting-edge phenotyping technology developed at the University of Queensland (UQ), the successful candidate will evaluate a barley training population for traits such as root architecture system, canopy development and transpiration efficiency.

The student will characterise the environment of field breeding trials using crop modelling, thus assessing the timing and intensity of abiotic stresses that are impacting genotypes in trials. Information will be used to elucidate context-dependent trait-by-environment relationships and evaluate the contribution of studied traits on yield performance across environment types.

This PhD project is an excellent opportunity for a dedicated student to obtain skills in crop improvement by working in close collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team of experts in crop physiology, modelling, genetics and breeding and InterGrain. The student will have access to UQ state-of-the-art facilities and have an opportunity to undertake an industry-based work placement. The student will be based at UQ Gatton or St Lucia. Scholarship value

As a scholarship recipient, you’ll receive:

  • living stipend of $32,192 per annum tax free (2023 rate), indexed annually
  • tuition fees covered
  • single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

Supervisor: Associate Professor Karine Chenu; Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation; Email: karine.chenu@uq.edu.au

Preferred educational background

Your application will be assessed on a competitive basis.

We take into account your

  • previous academic record
  • publication record
  • honours and awards
  • employment history.

A working knowledge of plant science would be of benefit to someone working on this project. The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of plant/crop physiology, plant/crop modelling and the potential for scholastic success. A background or knowledge of crop physiology, crop modelling, statistics and genetics is highly desirable.

Latest commencement date: If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 2, 2024. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date.If you are an international applicant, you may need to apply much earlier for visa requirements.

How to apply

To apply: email a cover letter & CV: s.alahmad@uq.edu.au

You apply for this project as part of your PhD program application.

View application process

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