PhD opportunity: Does fire control vegetation in the Tasmanian World Heritage Area?

The Fire Centre is looking for a PhD student for a project studying vegetation patterns in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Link to UTas advertisement.

The Research Project

This project aims to discriminate between competing explanations for vegetation patterns in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area: (a) fire (the legacy of Aboriginal burning), or (b) soil. We will do this through a novel, trans-disciplinary research program.  The PhD project will address the following question: Are sedgeland–forest boundaries controlled by soil factors shaped by fire and vegetation, or geophysical factors? This will be approached using a combination of field surveys, soil chemical analyses, micro-climate measurements, dendrochronological studies of tree growth and pot trials.  These studies will be used to contribute to fire management in this region by providing new evidence to inform an enduring debate about whether skillful Aboriginal burning or soil properties caused the vegetation mosaics present in the area today.

  • Interest/experience in vegetation survey and soil analysis, and greenhouse experiments
  • Research must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first-class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • The student will need to be physically fit and mobile to undertake field work

See the following web page for entry requirements:

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact, David Bowman for further information.


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