Projects on offer

Masters project opportunities (James Cook University, Australia): 

Southern range limit of the the tropical Black-lip rock oyster; an emerging aquaculture species

The black-lip rock oyster, Saccostrea echinata, is an emerging aquaculture species in the North of Australia. Fast growth rates and newly established methods of hatchery production contribute to an increasing interest in the farming of this species. A comprehensive assessment of S. echinata’s distribution in Australia is yet to be completed. Adult S. echinata are known to be present as far south as Turkey Beach, but the southern range limit of the species in Queensland is unknown. Understanding its southern range range limit is complicated by high levels of morphological variability, the presence of few distinguishing characteristics and several morphological similar co-occurring oyster species. Molecular genetic methods, including environmental DNA (eDNA), now provide a tool to help establish range limits within the species, including early life history stages. Through the development of species specific assays and application of metabarcoding techniques this project will seek to determine the southern range limit of S. echinata. The project will be a collaboration between the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Qld (Bribie Island) and James Cook University (Townsville) and will incorporate field work, laboratory work and molecular genetic analyses.

Supervisors – Dr Max Wingfield (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Qld), Prof. Jan Strugnell (James Cook University, Qld).

Sounds interesting? Get in touch!