Thomas Newsome

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Rewilding Urban Sydney – 3 PhD Projects On Offer

We are seeking up to 3 PhD students to work on an exciting new project on urban rewilding in northern Sydney.


This project aims to prevent further wildlife loss by creating a blueprint for the ecological restoration of urban spaces. Working with seven Councils, two State government agencies and Taronga Conservation Society, this project will experimentally assess a new approach to conservation by restoring regionally-present but locally-missing wildlife in northern Sydney. The project has scope to support up to three PhD projects with options for fully funded stipends at a rate of $35.8K per year. Funding was awarded to this project from the Australian Research Council as a Linkage with industry.

PhD 1 will focus on bringing together and analysing project partner and historical datasets on species losses and additions over time across the greater Sydney region. On ground assessments of habitat suitability and key threats will then be undertaken to help inform suitable species and areas for rewilding. PhD 2 will focus on understanding community environmental knowledge, values, and attitudes, with a view to developing and monitoring a community-supported rewilding strategy. PhD 3 will assist with ecological surveys, sourcing the first candidate species for rewilding, and then monitoring translocation success. 

Benefits of the PhD projects

All PhD projects have funding support for equipment, field work and other key project costs. Significant in-kind field support will also be provided by the project partners. Students will be based at The University of Sydney in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences within the Global Ecology Lab supervised by a combination of the lead academic team which includes Dr. Thomas Newsome (University of Sydney), Prof. Phil McManus (University of Sydney), A.Prof Donna Houston (Macquarie University), Dr. John Martin (Western Sydney University), Dr Alex Carthey (Macquarie University), Dr Catherine Grueber (University of Sydney), and Prof. Peter Banks (University of Sydney).

PhD stipends

Australian candidates should be competitive to receive stipend support under the Research Training Program (RTP). The current RTP stipend rate at The University of Sydney is $35k tax free per annum. However, this project has funding to fully support at least two and possibly three PhD students at a rate of 35.8K per year if RTP support is unsuccessful.

For more information and to submit an expression of interest, please contact Dr. Thomas Newsome at [lab website:

The expression of interest should include a cover letter and CV. Please include details of your degrees (including average marks), relevant research experience, field experience, publications, and ability to use programs like GIS or R. Applicants may be required to interview or meet the project team. A single applicant will be selected for each PhD position and invited to apply. We envisage the student will enrol in Q1 2023 (note that enrolment and RTP applications are due to The University of Sydney by 31st October 2022).

Expressions of interest will close 12th October 2022

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