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UTAS-CSIRO PhD Scholarship

Date: 06-May-2019

Location: Canberra, ACT, AU

Company: CSIRO

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CSIRO Agriculture and Food and the University of Tasmania (UTAS) are offering a joint PhD scholarship to research the physiology of flowering and seed production in serradellas. The student is expected to be based at CSIRO in Canberra for the duration of their PhD, with regular contact with their UTAS supervisors and annual trips to UTAS.

Project Title: The physiology of flowering and seed production in serradellas; promising alternative pasture legumes for Southern Australia impact.

Project Details:

Serradellas (Ornithopus spp.) are promising alternative, annual pasture legumes with an expanding role in southern Australia. Traditionally, yellow serradellas (O. compressus) have been used in light, acid soils where their production can exceed that of benchmark pasture legumes such as subterranean clover. However, development of improved yellow and French serradella (O. sativus) cultivars has, since 2009, underpinned an expansion of serradella use in phase-farming systems. More recently, serradellas have been found to be highly phosphorus-efficient and it is anticipated that serradella-based grazing systems may require up to 30% less phosphorus fertiliser than subterranean clover-based pastures. This has both national and global significance given Australia’s dependence on phosphorus fertiliser and the importance of the world’s finite phosphate rock reserves for food security.

Further expansion of serradella use into the permanent pasture zone depends on the suitability of cultivars for high yields and persistence in the southern Australian climate. However, the optimum time of flowering for reliable seed production, the regulation of flowering response to climate and the physiology of seed growth in the serradellas is largely unknown.

This project will address these gaps in knowledge and will define how new serradella varieties can be developed for use in the permanent pasture systems of southern Australia.

For further information on this project please visit:

Location: Canberra, ACT

Scholarship: $27,596 per annum, plus $9,166 per annum operational funds to support the PhD research project.

Tenure: (Up to) 3 year term, with a possible 6 month extension (concordant with PhD at UTAS)

Reference: 61369

Contact: For more information please contact Dr Richard Simpson at (CSIRO Supervisor) or Dr Beth Penrose at (UTAS Supervisor).


At CSIRO you can be part of helping to solve big, complex problems that make a real difference to our future. We spark off each other, learn from each other, trust each other and collaborate to achieve more than we could individually in a supportive, rewarding, inclusive and truly flexible environment.

How to Apply

Applications for this scholarship are being accepted by UTAS. For details on the eligibility criteria and application process, please see the UTAS website:

Applications close

31 December 2019

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