Research Fellow in Environment

Townsville, Australia
14 Feb 2018
End of advertisement period
27 Feb 2018
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Position Overview

The Research Fellow will guide and conduct research activities within a collaborative CRCDNA project, Breeding for resistance to juvenile pearl oyster mortality syndrome (JOMS). The incumbent will primarily determine correlative factors associated with the occurrence of JOMS and gather the essential genetic knowledge required to instigate a selective breeding program within a functional pearling farm via commercial partners.

The Research Fellow will conduct research activities within the research team under the primary supervision of the project leader. The incumbent will also complete project specific administration functions, report writing and the co-supervision of postgraduate students.

Organisational Charts

James Cook University

Division of Tropical Environments and Societies

College of Science and Engineering

Principal Accountabilities

  1. Contribute to the design and conduct of experiments, including acquisition and modelling of phenotypic / environmental data to understand tolerance to JOMS in pearl oysters.
  2. Undertake quantitative genetic analyses to estimate phenotypic genetic parameters (eg., heritability, breeding valuesand trait correlations)
  3. Undertake quantitative genetic and QTL localisation analyses to identify any genes of major effect and trait architecture.
  4. Undertake bio-statistical analyses to estimate correlative relationships between JOMS resistance; and nutritional, physiological, bacterial and environmental factors.
  5. Use Genotype by Sequencing (GBS) methodology, incorporating computational and statistical approaches, to determine relatedness and diversity of pearl oysters to inform a selective breeding program.
  6. Co-supervise honours and higher degree research students.
  7. Communicate quality research in high ranking international scientific journals and provide conceptual support to projects.
  8. Utilize appropriate and current techniques/protocols in experimental laboratory management to ensure integrity, security and replicability of experimental procedures.
  9. Support the University's commitment to the principles of reconciliation, which exemplify respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and the valuing of justice and equity for all Australians.
  10. Demonstrate a commitment to the University values.
  11. Support the principles of the TropEco program and engage in commitment to JCU sustainability goals and objectives.

Generic Accountabilities 

There are generic responsibilities that apply to all James Cook University staff. 

  1. The Research Fellow is required to observe the lawful and reasonable directions, policies and decisions of the University Council, understand and comply with the Enterprise Agreement, the Statutes and Rules of the University, the policies and decisions of the University Council and other appropriate University authorities, as in force from time to time.
  2. The Research Fellow is required to demonstrate a personal commitment to ensure personal safety and the safety of others and contribute to the continuous improvement of our WHS performance. This includes the effective implementation and compliance with James Cook University WHS policies, procedures and safe systems of work, together with all relevant legislation, duties and obligations. Contribute to the continuous improvement of our WHS performance.
  3. The Research Fellow is required to exercise proper discretion in all matters affecting the well-being of the University which involve public writing or speaking in accordance with the University’s Code of Conduct. 

Special Conditions

  • It is a requirement of this position to occasionally work outside normal work hours, in remote regions of Northern Australia for extended periods of up to 2 weeks.
  • The incumbent may be required to occasionally undertake domestic travel.

Selection Criteria

Selection and appointments will be assessed against selection criteria.


  1. Doctoral degree and some postdoctoral experience with evidence of significant postdoctoral research outputs in quantitative genetics, animal/plant genetics or breeding;
  2. Knowledge of and preferable experience in the development and design of genetic breeding programs;
  3. Demonstrated experience with genotyping technologies, quantitative trait loci detection and general molecular biology techniques;
  4. Demonstrated evidence incoordinating, leading or working in successful and productive multidisciplinary and collaborative teams particularly for aquaculture outcomes;
  5. Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate via both oral and written mediums; and
  6. Proven esteemed record relevant to opportunity in scientific publication of research.


  1. Ability and willingness to train and mentor students.