PhD Student Positions

Mammal Evolution, Development and Palaeontology

Monash University, Australia

Opportunities are available for PhD positions in evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), vertebrate palaeontology and functional morphology with Dr Alistair Evans at Monash University (School of Biological Sciences) in Melbourne, Australia. We are seeking creative and highly-motivated students with a desire to learn more about what shapes the evolution of mammals, through their development, functional performance and evolutionary history. Our lab explores many aspects of the evolution of shape in mammal teeth, using synchrotron imaging, 3D printing, experimental developmental biology and bioengineering.

Individuals with a background in biology or related fields are invited to apply, and those with strong quantitative, computational or developmental biology skills are particularly encouraged. Specific projects are flexible, interdisciplinary, and include opportunities to carry out new research in experimental, theoretical, or computational evo-devo biology and palaeontology.

Research Topics

Specific research plans will be developed in collaboration with each successful candidate, and tailored to match their individual interests and strengths. Two of the main topics available are:

Evolutionary Developmental Morphology of Mammal Teeth

Evolution of Extreme Biology of Baleen Whales - Co-supervised with Dr Erich Fitzgerald at Museum Victoria, Melbourne.

Scholarship Details

The PhD stipend is fully funded for 3.5 years for full-time research, with no teaching requirements. The stipends include all course fees plus approximately $25,000 AUD per annum tax-free. Australian/NZ domestic and international students are eligible to apply. Domestic candidates will be invited to apply for an Australian Postgraduate Award, with a top-up scholarship awarded to successful recipients ($5000). All Monash PhD students also receive approximately $3,000 worth of travel funds to attend conferences during their degree.

Monash and the School of Biological Sciences

Monash is a member of the Group of Eight, a coalition of top Australian universities recognized for their excellence in teaching and research. The School of Biological Sciences is a dynamic unit with strengths in both evolution and developmental biology and the nexus between these disciplines ( The University is located in Melbourne, one of the most liveable cities in the world and a cultural and recreational hub.

Application Process

Interested candidates should send their CV and academic transcript, along with a cover letter outlining their research interests and motivation, their skills in relation to morphology, developmental biology and/or palaeontology, to Applicants must possess a Bachelor's or equivalent degree with first-class Honours, Master of Science or MPhil. Review of applications will begin immediately, and short-listed candidates will be contacted to set up phone/Skype interviews. Initial interviews will begin by 9 October 2015.