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CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in biosecurity surveillance of tropical aquaculture systems

Date: 27-Jul-2022

Location: Darwin, NT, AU

Company: CSIRO

Acknowledgement of Country

CSIRO acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land, sea and waters, of the area that we live and work on across Australia. We acknowledge their continuing connection to their culture and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. View our vision towards reconciliation

The Opportunity


  • Do you have a PhD in molecular biology, marine science, aquatic pathology?
  • Conduct research to prevent outbreaks of endemic diseases in northern Australia.
  • Join CSIRO – Australia’s leading scientific research organisation!


CSIRO Early Research Career (CERC) Postdoctoral Fellowships provide opportunities to scientists and engineers who have completed their doctorate and have less than three years of relevant postdoctoral work experience. These fellowships aim to develop the next generation of future leaders of the innovation system.


In this position you will undertake research in endemic diseases which put a significant strain on the Australian aquaculture industry. Traditional management approaches have relied on detection of pathogens or harmful species after clinical signs appear in the animals. Regular monitoring of aquaculture systems through water sampling is a non-invasive technique that could provide early detection of target species and/or their toxic analytes and prevent outbreaks from occurring. Northern Australia is seen as an important growth area for Australia’s aquaculture industry but poses its own challenges for effective biosecurity surveillance due its climate, remoteness and limited access to traditional diagnostic capabilities (i.e. specialist staff and facilities). Combining a systems-based approach with field-based detection tools could transform aquatic biosecurity surveillance and support a more resilient aquaculture industry into the future.


The CERC Fellow will have the opportunity to work across diverse disciplines spanning recent advances in molecular biology, eDNA research, biosecurity and aquatic health. With a team of researchers across the country (NT, WA, Tas), the CERC Fellow will bring together the required skills to lead the initiation, design and execution of lab and field experiments to develop new and practical biosecurity surveillance tools for the aquaculture industry.

Your duties will include:

  • Explore emerging diagnostic and detection technologies with application to field-deployable devices.
  • Develop cutting-edge detection platforms for endemic diseases relevant to tropical aquaculture following a diagnostic evaluation framework.  
  • Develop improved sample capture techniques that enhance detection sensitivity of target molecules in water samples. 
  • Design and implement field experiments to validate and improve surveillance tools.  


Location:   Darwin, NT

Salary:  AU$89k - AU$98k plus up to 15.4% superannuation

Tenure:  Specified term of 3 years

Reference:  85701

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as molecular biology, marine science, aquatic pathology. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (or part-time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Demonstrated technical skills and experience in molecular biology, eDNA techniques and/or metagenomics. 
  • Demonstrated skills and experience in designing and conducting field experiments, preferably in aquatic systems. 
  • Willingness and ability to work in northern Australia and undertake outdoor field work.
  • Willingness and ability to work across CSIRO sites and with external collaborators as required.


For full details about this role please view the Position Description


Applications for this position are open to Australian/New Zealand Citizens, Australian Permanent Residents or Australian temporary residents currently residing in Australia and be able to commence in the role by 31 January 2023.


Appointment to this role is subject to provision of a national police check and may be subject to other security/medical/character requirements.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. 

Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit people representing the diversity across our society, and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish. 


At CSIRO Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. We put the safety and wellbeing of our people above all else and earn trust everywhere because we only deal in facts. We collaborate widely and generously and deliver solutions with real impact. 

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

How to Apply

Please apply on-line and provide a cover letter and CV that best demonstrate your motivation and ability to meet the requirements of this role.

Applications Close

31 August 2022, 11:00pm AEDT