Miles Tangaroa under the sea 2

A DTIS image of the deep seafloor (433 m) off the Northern Victoria Land coast, home to a range of large sponge colonies. Photo: Miles Lamare (Otago University), Sadie Mills (NIWA) and Steve George (NIWA).

Māori Doctoral PhD Scholarship, University of Otago

5 September 2023

The Antarctic Science Platform supports a range of physical and biological science to understand Antarctica’s impact on the global earth system and New Zealand, and how this might change in a warming world. Ecosystem responses to warming in the Ross Sea region is a key focus of the platform. A three-year PhD scholarship is available to support an emerging Māori student interested in using modern genetic research tools to understand environmental change and ecosystem responses in the Antarctic. The research will be undertaken in a team of emerging and senior Māori academics, and strongly supports the principals of understanding and protecting the environment, te Taiao and kaitakitanga.

The successful candidate would be supported to study biodiversity in the Ross Sea Region, Antarctica, using genetic approaches (eDNA and population genomics and/or evolution of Antarctic fauna). Research would look at patterns of connectivity in the Ross Sea, and combine genetic data with environmental data to infer which processes (such as ocean currents and life histories) are driving observed patterns, enabling us to forecast what might change with warming. The candidate would have opportunities to participate in Antarctic fieldwork, as well as to make use of many valuable samples already in collections.

This is a three year scholarship, now available. This PhD position is based in the Marine Science/Biochemistry Departments, and with an expectation of at least one research voyage to the Ross Sea, Antarctica.

Stipend: $35K per annum for three years, plus university fee waiver.

For additional information, please reach out to

The University of Otago Marine Science

Biochemistry Department