MSc Studentship
Bisoecurity Science
Lincoln, New Zealand I Vacancy 14688
Surveillance of unwanted organisms without lures is one of the greatest challenges in
biosecurity. A solution would be to directly track the source of incursion. Honey bees are fast
learners, cheap and extremely sensitive. Based on an in-situ method, we can train bees by
odour and sugar reward to look for any specific target in the environment in a few hours. This
project aims to demonstrate the efficacy of training bees to detect incursion of invasive species
threathening New Zealand biodiversity and economy, such as for instance the Queensland fruit
Based within Plant & Food Research’s Biosecurity Group at Lincoln near Christchurch, the MSc
student will be supervised by scientists with established reputations in chemical ecology and
insect behavior: UoA Supervisor: Professor Max Suckling, The New Zealand Institute for Plant
and Food Research Ltd. (Lincoln) and SBS, University of Auckland with Dr Flore Mas, The
New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd. (Lincoln).
Candidates will have completed papers at Masters level, in a discipline relevant to entomology
and biosecurity. Entry into the MSc requires completion of a Bachelor of Science (Honours) or
Postgraduate Diploma in Science with a B- average in 90 points, at least 75 of which must be
at 700 level. Direct entry from a Bachelor of Technology is also possible.
The one year studentship offers an annual stipend of $10,000 per annum for 2016 and covers
university fees and operating costs. It is important that candidates be able to fulfil the
requirements for enrolment in a MSc programme at Auckland university.
The student will carry field work in NZ and potentially abroad with risk species (e.g. Qfly in New
Caledonia or Australia) to assess the efficiency of training bees for biosecurity and provide best
methods for increasing surveillance options. The student will get a sound knowledge of bee
foraging behaviour and be trained in chemical ecology and techniques to train bees on odour
sources from invasive species. Also, the student will be trained in organizing field experiments,
data collection and analysis. Reliable data will be translated into a manuscript ready for peerreviewed international journal. PFR maintains an apiaries with several hives. Several tools
being developed in-house such as acoustic sensors, lasers, microchips, will be available for
carrying high-tech experiments aiming at publishing in high impact journals.
See link for more information:
Deadline for Application at University of Auckland : 8th December 2015
For registration details and to apply for this before the 4th of December.
Please quote vacancy number 14688

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