Prospective students

The WERG are an interdisciplinary group of hydrological, ecological, social and geomorphological researchers, with strong links to Melbourne Water through the Melbourne Waterway Research Practice Partnership ( We offer a stimulating, collegiate environment for students interested in applied research in river science, with strong links to management practice.

Current opportunities:

PhD Project: Investigating the effects of river flow regime on plant reproduction and recruitment, supervised by Dr Joe Greet1 and Dr Chris Jones2
1. The University of Melbourne, Waterway Ecosystem Research Group
2. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

The Project: River regulation and subsequent changes to flow regimes have dramatically impacted riverine ecosystems globally. Increasingly, water is now allocated via environmental flows to improve river ecosystem health. Delivery of environmental flows typically aim to replicate parts of a natural flow regime to improve population outcomes for riverine biota. While monitoring of the effects of environmental water has been conducted for decades, there remains many key knowledge gaps for how environmental flows effect vegetation. One aspect of high priority is to better understand how environmental flow delivery can influence the reproduction and recruitment of plants within waterways. Understanding these effects is critical to informing waterway management for vegetation outcomes.
This project will broadly investigate how flow regime affects different stages of plant recruitment from flowering to the establishment of new plants. The project will be undertaken as part of the Victorian Environmental Flows Monitoring and Assessment Program (VEFMAP) and based with the Waterway Ecosystem Research Group (WERG) – a world leading research group renowned for its supportive and collegiate culture. This will provide the successful applicant with a uniquely valuable work environment as part of a multidisciplinary team of eco-hydrologists, geomorphologists, stream ecologists and riparian ecologists. Furthermore, the close partnership with the Arthur Rylah Institute and DELWP will facilitate collaborative research and the effective translation of findings into policy and management; with ultimate benefits for riverine health in Victoria.
We are offering a PhD top-up Scholarship of $10,000 per annum, plus fieldwork expenses of $5,000 per annum for a highly competent and enthusiastic student to undertake this research. The student will need to obtain Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship or Melbourne Research Scholarship at the University of Melbourne. Thus, a first-class honours or master’s degree, and/or evidence of publishing in international peer-reviewed scientific journals will be essential. Information regarding scholarships and admission for the University of Melbourne can be found at:
The successful applicant will have an appreciation of plant and aquatic ecology and good quantitative skills, ideally with literacy in R (or a willingness to develop such skills). Importantly, this project requires an independently-motivated candidate with excellent communications skills as you will be required to work effectively with researchers across disciplines and industry practitioners. The preferred starting date for this project is early-2021.
Applicants should submit an expression of interest, including a 500-word personal statement outlining your interest in the research and relevant skills and experience, a CV, academic transcript and contact details for two academic referees. Please send your EOI to: Dr Joe Greet, The University of Melbourne,
Apologies, this position is available to domestic applicants only.