Environmental Genomics PhD Opportunities

The Australian Centre for Ancient DNA based at The University of Adelaide, South Australia is currently looking for students interested in PhD opportunities in Environmental Genomics.

Six PhD projects are available in the field of Environmental Genomics, at the University of Adelaide starting in early 2010, working on an ARC LINKAGE funded project at the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA ( Each project focuses on the application of targeted metagenomic assays to perform rapid biodiversity and taxonomy assessment on complex biological samples in the following fields;

Project 1) Forensics: Using the genetic content of soil samples to predict crime scene/source areas. Focusing on invertebrate, plant and animal signals. Project partners – Australian Federal Police

Project 2) Water Quality: Analysing the biodiversity of standard, desalinated and recycled/re-used water systems, focusing on the detection and identification of novel pathogens. Project partners – SA Water

Project 3) Mining/Conservation biology: Using environmental genomic methods to rapidly analyse plant, animal and invertebrate taxonomic biodiversity in soil samples from survey sites across South Australia. Project partner – Primary Industries Research South Australia, and Department of Environment and Heritage, SA

Project 4) Health: Developing metagenomic methods to detect and monitor known and novel pathogens in medical systems, focusing on point of care. Project partner – SA Pathology

Project 5) Antarctic biodiversity: Using environmental genomic approaches to analyse the biodiversity of Antarctic invertebrates using existing and field collected samples. Project partner: South Australian Museum

Project 6) Bioinformatics: Designing, programming and implementing software plug-ins for GENEIOUS, to allow the interface between environmental metagenomic data and end-users, including conservation, water and health managers. Project partners – Biomatters, NZ (producers of GENEIOUS)

The PhD projects are available to Australian and NZ citizens/permanent residents with a 1st class Honours degree.

Applicants will also be encouraged to apply for Australian postgraduate awards (due Oct 31st) where applicable, refer to this website for the application process International students are also invited to apply, although international course fees are likely to be applicable. Other PhD projects are also available at ACAD –

Please contact Maria Lekis ( or Prof. Alan Cooper ( for further details.

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