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A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


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Professor Philip Seddon, Professor Yolanda van Heezik, Adjunct Professor Deb Wilson (Mannaki Whenua/Landcare Research)


We are looking for a PhD student for an Otago University-Manaaki Whenua/Landcare Research project on the movement ecology of possums in urban Dunedin.

The project, run in conjunction with Predator-Free Dunedin, seeks to measure possum movements, dispersal behaviour, corridors of reinvasion, and fine-scale habitat use in urban areas.

The project budget includes technical support to the student, operating costs and student co-supervision. In addition, GPS collars will be supplied by Manaaki Whenua.

The PhD student to be co-supervised by Yolanda van Heezik and Philip Seddon (Zoology, University of Otago) and Deb Wilson (Manaaki Whenua). The student will deploy frequent-fix GPS collars on possums to track fine-scale movements in relation to habitat type in the urban environment, and, if possible, also at the urban–rural interface. Where possible, juveniles will be collared to measure dispersal and reinvasion into controlled areas, with small GPS collars suitable for dispersal-age juvenile possums, and that have a drop-off feature to protect growing animals. Other options could be to compare movements between the Otago Peninsula (low numbers following possum control), and before and after control in the peri-urban area.

The student is expected to attain a University of Otago PhD Scholarship, which will support them financially and include a fees waiver for three years of study.

If interested please submit a CV and cover letter via email to Phil Seddon


Philip Seddon
Tel +64 3 470 7029; +64 22 054 2625

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