Funded PhD project | Impacts of myrtle rust on ecosystem functions

Schwendenmann_PhD scholarship_Myrtle rust and ecosystem functions_100120.

Myrtle rust (Austropuccinia psidii) is a globally invasive fungal disease that severely affects plants in the myrtle (Myrtaceae) family.

Plants in this family include the iconic New Zealand plants pōhutukawa, mānuka, rātā, and kānuka.

Myrtle rust was first found in New Zealand in May 2017. Myrtle rust attacks young leaves and shoot tips. Severe infestations can kill affected plants.


Scholarship | a stipend of NZ$27,000 per annum tax-free and also covers University of Auckland PhD fees

Open to | The scholarship is open to both domestic and international candidates.

Closes | 1 February 2019

Location | University of Auckland (New Zealand)

Schwendenmann_PhD scholarship_Myrtle rust and ecosystem functions_100119.

This three-year scholarship is available to support a PhD student pursuing research on the effects of myrtle rust on ecosystem functions (in particular carbon, water and nutrient cycling) and soil characteristics across different Myrtaceae ecosystems in New Zealand.

The project will be conducted in collaboration with Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research and is part of the research programme Beyond Myrtle Rust: towards ecosystem resilience, funded through the New Zealand Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment.

Applicants for this project should hold a first class MSc or honors degree in biogeochemistry, ecosystem ecology, environmental chemistry or closely related fields.

The project involves both field and laboratory work. Experience with carbon and water measurements is preferred. 

Interested applicants should submit a CV, transcripts, and a research statement (maximum 2 pages) to Dr. Luitgard Schwendenmann 
Email: l.schwendenmann at