Research Opportunities

Arid Recovery's research plan is always evolving to tackle new questions as they emerge. Student research and other collaboration opportunities will be posted here when we're looking for brains to join us.

Improving reintroduction success of threatened mammals: searching for effective bioindicators of effective predator management

Join a collaboration between Arid Recovery, Bush Heritage Australia and UNSW to improving reintroduction success of threatened mammals. This Honours project will search for bioindicators of effective predator management using databases of prey items consumed by introduced predators across areas with and without predator management.

Feral cats and foxes are a key threat to Australia’s unique biodiversity. Many conservation programs run predator control programs before translocating threatened species into open, unfenced landscapes. But how low do predator densities need to be for reintroduction to succeed? Most programs monitor the activity or abundance of the predators themselves, but changes in abundance of native in situ species might be a better indication of when predator control is working. This project will explore the use of native fauna (mammals, reptiles, birds, invertebrates) as bioindicators of effective predator management.

Field work would be conducted during a single trip to the region aligning with annual fauna trapping at Bon Bon Station Reserve and/or Arid Recovery, and opportunistic targeted surveys for prey species. Enquiries to Dr Katherine Moseby

Applications accepted now. 2022

How Do Stick-nest Rats Cope with Temperature Extremes? - OPPORTUNITY CLOSED

An opportunity exists for a highly motivated person to assist with a research project in northern South Australia on a nationally threatened species. Stick-nest rats are shy, placid rodents that were once widespread in the semi-arid zone. They are now extinct on the mainland but were reintroduced to the Arid Recovery Reserve in arid South Australia over 20 years ago. Recent declines in stick-nest rats in the reserve have coincided with extreme summer temperatures and drought conditions and Arid Recovery aims to determine how these stressors affect the survival, shelter site choice and behaviour of stick-nest rats.

The project involves radiotracking rats over the summer months and using temperature loggers to determine how they avoid high temperatures both during the day (when they are sheltering) and at night (when they are active).

Applicants should send a CV to and a letter outlining why they are interested in the research. Open to Australian residents or working visa holders. The successful applicant will be provided with accommodation plus a $100/week stipend and access to a vehicle. Arid Recovery is located 20km from the township of Roxby Downs. A manual driver’s license is essential. The project will run from early January to early March and involves considerable field work so applicants should be fit, prepared to work flexible hours in summer temperatures and have a strong interest in ecology. There will be opportunities to be involved in publishing this work.

Applications due by the 30th of Sept 2019.

Reintroducing native predators to fenced reserves; implications for arid zone conservation - OPPORTUNITY CLOSED

An opportunity exists for a highly motivated PhD student to undertake a research project in northern South Australia on reintroduced native predators (western quolls and possibly kowaris). Western quolls were reintroduced to the 123 square km fenced conservation reserve (Arid Recovery) in 2018 and research has shown that they are breeding, expanding outside the reserve and feeding on native reintroduced mammals.

A PhD project is proposed that compares the survival, carrying capacity, breeding success, population connectivity and diet in populations inside (no predator environment) and outside (high predator environment) the reserve. The impacts of quolls on resident threatened species and the trophic cascades triggered by the reintroduction of a predator will also be explored. Another native predator, the Kowari, may also be reintroduced to the reserve and provide an opportunity for comparison. Research will involve radiotracking adult and juvenile native predators inside and outside the reserve, using trapping and camera traps to estimate density and breeding success and undertaking monitoring of in situ species.

Applicants should send a copy of their academic results and CV to and include a letter outlining why they are interested in the PhD topic. The successful applicant will need to apply for a PhD scholarship through the University of Adelaide. The project involves considerable field work and accommodation will be provided at the Arid Recovery Reserve during field trips. Applicants should be fit, prepared to work flexible hours and have a strong interest in ecology.