Fisheries Biology - Murdoch University

Climate Change: Thermal Physiology of Endemic Freshwater Fishes
We are seeking a motivated Honours student to help characterize the metabolic physiology of some of
South West Australia’s iconic freshwater fishes. The SW is a region of global significance for its
extraordinary Biodiversity, yet it is also one of the areas most threatened by climate change. The
student will be taking advantage of a brand new cutting-edge respirometry system and swim tunnel
funded by the School of Veterinary Science to quantify metabolic rates in freshwater cobbler and
Pygmy Perch. The project will be a “hands-on” experience and include the student both working with
fish in the field and the lab. The work will suit a student with an interest in the fields of ecophysiology and equip the successful applicant with the necessary skills to investigate climate change
effects in fishes and other ectothermic vertebrates.
Parasites and changing climates: quantifying the threats by multiple stressors
Changing climates are not just changing temperatures, but are also set to change many other biotic
and abiotic factors which will impact organisms. Parasites in particular can have substantial impacts
on the biology of their hosts, including reduced growth and slower reproductive output. Much like
Australia’s terrestrial ecosystems, aquatic systems are increasingly being invaded by exotic species,
including parasites. Lernaea cyprinacea, an anchor-worm, has been found in numerous native fishes.
We are seeking a student with interests in either parasitology and/or ecophysiology to investigate the
interactive effects of climate change and parasite presence in native fish, using a state of the art
respirometry system. The project will be a “hands-on” experience and include the student both
working with fish in the field and the lab.
If either of these projects interest you, please contact;
Stephen Beatty PhD
Senior Research Fellow
Freshwater Fish Group and Fish Health Unit
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences Murdoch University
90 South St Murdoch 6150
Western Australia
Ph: +61 8 9360 2813
Fax: +61 8 9360 7512