Student projects

Are you interested in pursuing a PhD in the Research School of Biology at the Australian National University, Canberra? Do you want to work with top researchers in a world-class research facility, based in a beautiful city? Then check out the projects available to you in the three Divisions, Biomedical Science and Biochemistry, Plant Sciences and Ecology and Evolution. We provide an outstanding research environment with a world-class reputation. We are an interdisciplinary Research School, with highly integrated labs that work at the forefront of many exciting topics in biological sciences.We highly value our ability to support and train students in research through two ARC Training Centres on Future Crops Development and Plant Biosecurity.

To search for projects via Divisional Group Leaders, aka potential supervisors, please visit the following pages:
PhD applications in Biomedical Science and Biochemistry
PhD applications in Ecology & Evolution
PhD applications in Plant Sciences

Or simply pick a project from the extensive list below. You can also discuss your interests and ideas for projects with potential supervisors listed above.

Featured projects

All projects

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Projects Research themes Degree level
New methods in phylogenetics Bachelor, Honours, PhD
A chytrid fungus nanobody toolkit and genetic transformation approaches Honours, Masters, PhD
A synthetic biology approach to detect pathogen molecules in crops Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
A synthetic biology approach to supercharging plant CO2 fixation Bachelor, Honours, PhD
A yeast surface display nanobody factory Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Abiotic stress signalling, developmental programming and plant adaptation Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Acoustic communication in birds PhD
Agrochemical control of stress signalling pathways for enhanced stress tolerance Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
ATLS - the Australian Thermal Load Sensitivity Project. What determines plant sensitivity to heat? Summer scholar, Honours, PhD
Australian Mountain Research Facility (AMRF, ARC LIEF project) Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Bioinformatic / Computational methods Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Bioinformatics and gene discovery in wheat rust pathogens Bachelor, Honours, PhD
Biologically inspired membranes for the efficient desalination of water Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
C4 Rice Project Honours, PhD
Caenorhabditis elegans as a potential animal model to study host-pathogen interactions Masters, PhD
Can seedling screens of energy use efficiency in wheat transfer to yield in the field? Bachelor
Carotenoid derivatives as chloroplast signals Honours, PhD
Cellular adaptations that allow the transmission and survival of Plasmodium falciparum when taken up by the mosquito Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Characterising the Zymospetoria tritici - wheat interaction Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Characterizing the mRNA-protein “interactome” of plants Honours, Masters, PhD
Climate change and leaf-eating mammals Summer scholar, Honours
Climate Change Impacts on Plants in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Honours
CO2 diffusion inside leaves Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Computational models of nerve conduction Honours, PhD
Control of meristem differentiation and plant architecture in legumes Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Coordination of chloroplast signals with cellular secondary messengers during abiotic and biotic stresses Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Coral regeneration Honours, PhD
Decrypting chloroplast signalling networks in C4 photosynthesis at cell type-resolution Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Delivery of virulence proteins by fungal rust pathogens Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Designing new channel inhibitors for treating chronic pain Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Detection of fungal pathogens and their associated microbiome Bachelor, Honours, Masters
Developing molecular tools for functional analysis of microRNA-mediated gene silencing Honours, Masters, PhD
Developing new genetic systems for hybrid breeding in wheat Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Developing novel methods to monitor Australia's dark taxa Honours, PhD
Development of a simple, inexpensive therapeutic cancer vaccine Honours, PhD
Drivers of phenotypic evolution in a vulnerable alpine ecosystem Summer scholar, Honours, Masters, PhD
Ecology and ecophysiology in Australian plant species in a climate change context Summer scholar, Honours, Masters, PhD
Ecophysiology of salinity and temperature tolerance in a changing world Honours, PhD
Effector delivery by fungal rust pathogens Bachelor, Honours, PhD
Electron transport and ATP synthesis in chloroplasts Honours
Elucidating the role of plasmodesmata in wheat stripe rust fungal infection Summer scholar, Honours
Energy use and the plant canopy - measuring local respiration trends. Bachelor
Engineering microRNA pathways for broad-spectrum plant disease resistance. Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Engineering the secretory pathways of yeast Honours, Masters
Enhancing carotenoid levels in cereals by esterification Honours, PhD
Enhancing climate-resilience of ecological restoration Summer scholar, Honours, Masters, PhD
Entropy, information theory and biodiversity Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Environmental effects on photosynthesis of species with the C3-C4 intermediate photosynthetic pathway Honours
Erythrocyte membrane modifications during malaria infection Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Evolution of Varroa tolerance in feral honey bees PhD
Evolutionary biology of Australian reptiles and amphibians Honours, Masters, PhD
Evolutionary significance of early developmental environments: Interaction between maternal effects and offspring thermal environment on phenotypic development and fitness PhD
Explore the Secrets of Australian Plants: Unravelling Ecological, Chemical, Molecular, and Genomic Mysteries of Specialised Plant-Pollinator Interactions. Bachelor, Summer scholar, Honours, Masters, PhD
Exploring Australia’s diversity for pathogens of weeds Honours, Masters
Exploring the combined response of heat and drought on photosynthesis and respiration of C4 plants Honours, Masters
Exploring the evolutionary protein landscape of Rubisco PhD
Factors impacting gene silencing efficacy in plants Honours, Masters, PhD
Flavonoid functions in nitrogen-fixing symbioses Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Function of molecular chaperones in the export and display of parasite proteins Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Functional characterisation of novel autotransporter proteins Bachelor, Honours
Fungal bioinformatics PhD
Fungal genomics, evolution, and host adaptation Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Genome wide association mapping Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Global patterns of biodiversity Honours, PhD
Honours projects are now available to study a wide range of topics in biosecurity and pathogenesis Honours
How do biological molecules distinguish between ions? Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
How do effector proteins from necrotrophic fungi cause disease in wheat Bachelor, Honours, PhD
How mTERF proteins contribute to fertility restoration in plants? Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Identification and functional characterisation of flax rust effectors Honours, Masters, PhD
Identification of 2000 novel protein isoforms in the human and mouse genomes Bachelor, PhD
Identification of molecular mechanisms of action and direct target genes of developmental signalling pathways in sponges PhD
Identification of target genes of developmental transcription factors Brachyury, Gata and Caudal in sponges PhD
Impact of early thermal environments on thermal behaviour and physiology in lizards Honours
Improving biological nitrogen fixation in legumes Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Improving C4 photosynthesis by genetic manipulation Honours, PhD
Improving drought tolerance in wheat by selectively inhibiting negative regulators of drought stress signalling Honours, PhD
Investigating adaptive genomic variation underlying drought tolerance in Eucalyptus Bachelor
Investigating the genetic architecture of thermal acclimation of leaf energy metabolism using GWAS Honours, Masters, PhD
Laboratory overview Bachelor, Honours, PhD
Landscape genomics Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Linking intracellular communication to whole-plant stress responses Honours, PhD
Lipid Regulation of Ion Channels Honours, Masters, PhD
Mapping the genetic mechanism of plasmodesmata formation and regulation to improve crops Summer scholar, Honours, Masters, PhD
Maternal effects and phenotypic development in lizards Honours
Metagenomics and the analysis of microbial genomes Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
MicroRNA target recognition; the role of the target RNA secondary structure. Honours, Masters, PhD
Molecular evolution and Phylogenetics Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Molecular mechanisms of innate immunity Honours, Masters, PhD
Molecular tools to reveal protein function and identify drug targets Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Novel metabolite discovery and characterisation Honours, Masters, PhD
Nutrient acquisition in apicomplexan parasites Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Optimising energy use efficiency to increase wheat yield PhD
Patterns and correlates of extinction risk Honours, PhD
PhD projects are now available to study a wide range of topics in biosecurity and pathogenesis Masters, PhD
Phylogeny, biogeography and diversification of Australian plants Honours, PhD
Physiological and molecular regulation of stomatal movement Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Plasmodium falciparum lipid metabolism as a target for malaria intervention strategies PhD
Projects in science education Honours, PhD
Protein function in plant immunity Bachelor, Honours, PhD
Quantifying the impact of phenotypic plasticity on population persistence PhD
Rates of molecular evolution in parasites Honours, PhD
Redesign and engineering of the autotransporter β-barrel domain Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Regulation of chloroplast function via alternative splicing in the nucleus Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Role of poisonous plants in the foraging ecology of marsupials Summer scholar, Honours
Save Our Snow gum: Understanding Snow Gum Dieback for Effective and Integrated Management Summer scholar, Honours, Masters, PhD
Serotype-converting bacteriophages and O-antigen modification in Shigella flexneri Masters, PhD
Sexual selection and the evolution of sex roles Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Sexual selection in changing in environments Honours, PhD
Shigella virulence and vaccine development Masters, PhD
Skeleton formation in soft corals and calcareous sponges Honours, PhD
Speciation in co-evolved taxa: sexually-deceptive orchids and their mycorrhizal symbionts PhD
Sponge and coral microbiomes PhD
Spread of innovation in urban sulphur-crested cockatoos Bachelor, Honours, Masters
Statistical methods of sequence divergence Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Structural basis of drug resistance in the Malaria parasite Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Structural basis of Endometriosis Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Student projects - additional topics for the future Honours, Bachelor, Masters, PhD
Student research projects in CO2 fixation and water loss of leaves Bachelor, Honours, PhD
Student research projects in tumour immunology and liposome targeting Honours
Students opportunities in Sequeira Group Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Studies on the biochemical regulation of C3 and C4 photosynthesis Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Studying pathogen proteins that cause disease Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
SynBio enabled biosensors Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Synthetic biology to engineer novel disease resistance in cereal crops Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Targeting ion transport in apicomplexan parasites with new generation antimalarials PhD
The biology of the mitochondrion of apicomplexan parasites Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
The causes and consequences of insect dispersal Honours, PhD
The ecology and evolution of aposematism Honours, PhD
The evolution of thermal tolerance across lifestages Honours, PhD
The molecular basis for plant susceptibility and immunity to Fusarium wilt disease Bachelor, Honours, PhD
The role of RNA binding proteins in post-transcriptional gene regulation and plant biology. Honours, Masters, PhD
Thermal acclimation, metabolism and thermal physiology in lizards Honours
To what degree does autotransporter folding inside the bacterial cell resemble autotransporter folding in bulk solution? Honours, Masters, PhD
Transport mechanisms and drug resistance in malaria transporters Honours, Masters, PhD
Understanding how gram-negative bacteria respond to oxidative stress Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Understanding the molecular basis of fungal rust diseases in plants Bachelor, Honours, PhD
Understanding the pathogenesis of the urinary tract pathogen Proteus mirabilis Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Understanding the proteins responsible for our sense of touch Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD
Understanding the role of peptide hormones in determining root architecture Bachelor, Honours, PhD
Unravelling novel Rubisco structures in algae PhD
Use of a tobacco Pathogenesis-related Protein-5 (PR-5) promoter: β glucuronidase (GUS) reporter system to study plant defence activation in response to phytohormones, abiotic stresses and biotic inducers. Honours, Masters, PhD
Vitamin utilisation by malaria parasites Bachelor, Honours, PhD
Vocal mimicry and display PhD
What are novel mechanisms for regulating transcription, RNA turnover and protein translation Honours, PhD
Wheat immunity and applied synthetic biology Bachelor, Honours, Masters, PhD

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