Posted in Pogona Research on Jul 18, 2022


Exciting PhD Opportunities

Epigenetics and the Developmental Programming of Sex

Did you know that environmental conditions can influence sexual fate, and even cause sex reversal, in many different vertebrate species? So, how does the environment determine sex? It seems like a simple question, but a definitive answer has remained elusive. In our interdisciplinary team, we use a wide range of cutting-edge molecular biology techniques to understand how the environment can control sex at the cellular level.

We have recently secured a substantial grant from the Australian Research Council to undertake research in the exciting area of epigenetic regulation of sex determination. We are calling for expressions of interest from prospective PhD students with appropriate experience at Honours or Masters level who are excited by the prospects of working within a multi-institutional team environment to discover the means by which environmental temperature can reverse sex in reptiles.

We use an emerging reptile model organism with temperature induced sex reversal to explore the epigenetic mechanisms by which an environmental cue is sensed and transduced to gene expression changes. The project will involve laboratory-based experiments aimed to functionally demonstrate the roles of candidate pathways in sex reversal. Through this work, the PhD candidate with gain a broad range of skills, ranging from organoid culture to bioinformatics.

If you decide to put in an expression of interest, please reply, outlining your knowledge and experience of molecular biology/developmental biology/comparative genomics, and explaining why you would like to explore this opportunity. Include the names of two referees. Attach a CV to your covering letter.

A copy of the project proposal is available on request, and you can navigate through the research outputs of the team so far on Additional background on the research environment can be obtained from

The successful applicant(s) will be expected to be based at the University of Canberra. International students are welcome to express interest. Fees can be covered, but not relocation or visa costs. University of Canberra is an equal opportunity employer, so we encourage all interested students to respond.

In addition to the scholarships on offer at the University of Canberra, additional opportunities to engage with this project as a PhD student may arise via other contributing organisations, the University of NSW (Paul Waters/Ira Deveson), the University of Queensland or Queensland University of Technology (via QIMR-B, Sudha Rao) or the ANU (Hardip Patel, computational biology). Expressions of interest remain open until all positions are filled.

For further information or a copy of the overall project description, email, or or phone +61 (0)418866741.


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