We provide student grants to encourage research that contributes to the improvement of the forest practices system.
The grants are available for university post-graduate students (or equivalent) for research expenses up to the value of $1000. In addition to the grants, we may also provide logistic, technical and in-kind support, including advice and support from FPA staff.
Importantly, these projects are dependent on the support of an appropriate academic supervisor (or supervisors). We may be able to help you find a supervisor. Before you apply, you need to make sure you have the required pre-requisites to enrol for a higher degree at your chosen university.
Applications for research grants are assessed for relevance to the forest practices system, their contribution to the current research priorities, and your ability to complete the project.
Applications must include:
- a page outline of the aim and scope of your proposed project and its relevance to the FPA priority research areas
- a table detailing the project budget for research expenses only, such as travel, materials, equipment, or services required
- an outline of your academic history
- contact details for three referees.
Enquiries and applications:
Examples of past student research projects
Some examples of previously-supported projects can be found in our
Development of management recommendations for threatened species and priority species listed in the RFA
Investigation of the characteristics of microhabitat utilised by the broad-toothed stag beetle (Honours)This project would build on a study which examined the distribution of the broad-toothed stag beetle, looking further in depth at micro-habitat requirements.
Distribution and characteristics of habitat utilised by Skemps snail (Honours)A detailed study is required to determine the distribution of the species and to determine the characteristics of its preferred habitat.
Diet and foraging range of the grey goshawk (PhD)This project would expand on a pilot project undertaken by the FPA looking at the foraging range of female grey goshawks in north-western Tasmania.
Assessing the relationship between stream flow and viability of Tasmanian galaxiid populations (PhD)This project would assess the effect that changes in flow would have on threatened galaxiid populations.
A retrospective assessment of swift parrot foraging resource in dry eucalypt forests that have been partially harvested. (Masters or PhD)A retrospective study in areas of
E. globulus and
E. ovata forest subject to partial harvesting in the past (e.g. 5, 10, 15 years ago) is required to assess the regeneration of foraging trees and the crown size and flowering density of the trees compared to 'control' (unharvested) sites.
Investigating behavioural responses of wedge-tailed eagles to nest site disturbance (Honours)This project would investigate behavioural responses to different types of disturbance, through direct observation and remote camera technology, and determine how present management prescriptions should be modified.
Foraging behaviour of wedge-tailed eagles in production and non-production forests (Hons or PhD)This project would consider the time eagles spend foraging in various forest types in production and non-production forests to better understand the influence of land clearance on nesting and foraging behaviour.
Investigating aspects of the ecology of a threatened carabid beetle (Catadromus lacordairei) (Hons)This project would investigate the habitat requirements and identify the larval cycle of the green-lined carabid beetle.
Investigating aspects of the ecology of a threatened jewel beetle (Castiarina insculpta) (Hons)This project would investigate the habitat requirements, including identifying the food plant and the larval requirements of the Miena jewel beetle.
Effectiveness of Forest Practices Code provisions relating to the retention of habitat for hollow-dependant fauna
Investigation of the use of retained areas by hollow-using birds (Honours)This project would complement our larger research project by looking at the degree to which
Forest Practices Code wildlife habitat clump prescriptions result in the retention of habitat for hollow-using birds.
Assessing the contribution of wildlife habitat strips to landscape-scale management of the hollow resource (Honours)This study will examine the distribution of formal and informal reserves (including wildlife habitat strips) to determine which areas lack reserves to help make recommendations for landscape scale management of the forest estate.
Using nest boxes to promote use of plantation areas by hollow-using species, especially batsThis project would examine whether placing nest boxes in plantation areas would encourage their use by hollow-using fauna. This project is particularly relevant for promoting bat activity in an area, as insectivorous bats may help control insect outbreaks in plantation areas.
Assessing the impact of firewood harvesting on the tree hollow and coarse woody debris resources (Masters)This study would assess the impact of firewood harvesting on state forest and private land in dry forest areas of Tasmania.
Investigation of tree colonisation by wood decaying fungi that contribute to hollow formation (PhD)The study would examine the spore dispersal abilities of wood rot fungi, and the colonisation of young trees subject to different management regimes.
Assessing the conservation status and hollow requirements of the yellow-tailed black cockatoo (PhD)This project would assess the current conservation status of this species as well as threatening processes including the availability of suitable hollows in the landscape. This project would help improve management prescriptions for this species.
Assessing the distribution of and use of tree hollows by the Australian owlet-nightjar (Honours or PhD)This project will assess the distribution and hollow use of the Australian owlet nightjar.
Assessing the use of coarse woody debris by vertebrate fauna (Honours or PhD) This project would assess the availability of the coarse woody debris resource in dry forest areas, which are more heavily used for activities such as firewood than wet forest areas.
Effectiveness of Forest Practices Code provisions relating to the management of biodiversity
Assessing the implementation and effectiveness of
Phytophthora cinnamomi management prescriptions under the forest practices system (Honours or Masters)This study will monitor the implementation and effectiveness of PC prescriptions applied to forest practices plans involving road construction or maintenance in state forest.
Use by arboreal mammals of isolated trees, patches and continuous forest in the variable retention trials at Warra Long-Term Ecological Research site (Honours or PhD)Detailed tracking studies are required to determine the degree to which fauna use single trees and large clumps retained as part of variable retention silviculture.
Assessing and refining the Forest Practices Code provisions for the maintenance of aquatic fauna
Which culvert designs impede movements of platypus and the giant freshwater crayfish? (Honours)Guidelines for forest managers have been developed from this work but more information is required on factors which impede the passage of the platypus and giant freshwater crayfish.
Distribution and habitat requirements of a narrow-range burrowing crayfish,
Ombrastacoides denisoni, in south-eastern Tasmania (Honours)A detailed study is required to determine the actual distribution of the species and to determine the characteristics of its preferred habitat.
Occurrence of hydrobiid snails in large streams (Honours)A recent PhD study suggests that threatened hydrobiid snails generally occupy headwater streams, though some threatened species are known to occur in large streams. This needs further investigation to assist in the development of management actions for these species.
Ecological importance and appropriate management of treeferns (Dicksonia antarctica)
Treeferns as a substrate for epiphytic ferns and bryophytes in Tasmania's north-west (Honours)Part of this project would be to establish a list of epiphytic species associated with
Dicksonia for the north-west of the state, to compare with that published in Roberts et al. 2003 for the south-east. This project would also examine the diversity and abundance of epiphytes on
Dicksonia at multiple wet forest sites in the north-west of the state (preferably in a range of forest types).
Is spore/gemmae dispersal a limiting factor in the re-establishment of epiphytes on
Dicksonia trunks in re-growth forests in Tasmania? (Honours)This study would examine epiphyte diversity in regrowth forests at various distances from retained mature forest with diverse epiphytic assemblages. The project could potentially be done for vascular epiphytes only, depending on the student's familiarity with bryophyte flora.
Epiphyte re-establishment on
Dicksonia trunks in regrowth forest (Honours)This project would examine how epiphytic assemblages associated with
Dicksonia trunks change over time in regrowth forests, and the age at which diversity and composition approaches that of old-growth forest.
The role of
Dicksonia trunks in understorey re-establishment in regrowth forest (Masters)This project would examined whether the presence of treefern trunks in a regenerating coupe expedite colonisation by other understorey species typical of the pre-logging forest-type, either through functioning as a nursery site for seed germination or through live ferns creating a canopy even in relatively young regrowth.
The relative importance of
Dicksonia as a habitat structure for invertebrates in Tasmanian wet forestsThis project would examine how
Dicksonia compares to other, possibly similar, wet forest habitats (e.g. other large fern species or bark and leaves of trees and shrubs) as habitat for invertebrates in Tasmania. This project would involve devising a sampling method that allows comparison of the invertebrate species assemblages and population densities in a variety of microhabitats in wet forest, including Dicksonia trunks and crowns.
Dispersal ability of invertebrates that use
Dicksonia as habitat This project would examine if dispersal is a limiting factor in the re-establishment of invertebrates on
Dicksonia after logging. Invertebrate diversity associated with
Dicksonia would be examined in regrowth forests at various distances from retained mature forest containing
Dicksonia. The project could potentially examine only a subset of species.
Interactions between vertebrate fauna and
Dicksonia (Honours or PhD)This project would examine which vertebrate fauna use
Dicksonia as habitat or a food source in Tasmanian wet forests.
The role of
Dicksonia in facilitating recolonisation of regrowth forest by invertebrates (Masters or PhD) This project would examine whether the presence of trunked
Dicksonia surviving from pre-logging expedite recolonisation of regrowth forest by invertebrates (those both associated with the
Dicksonia themselves and with other understorey elements such as logs and leaf-litter).
Changes to invertebrate assemblages that use
Dicksonia based on regrowth forest age (Honours or PhD) This project would examine how invertebrate assemblages associated with
Dicksonia trunks change over time in regrowth forests, and the forest age at which diversity and composition approaches that of old-growth forest.
Dicksonia as a keystone structure in Tasmanian wet forests (Honours or PhD)This project would examine the extent to which the concepts of 'keystone species' or 'keystone structure' are appropriate and helpful in describing
Dicksonia, and how this could inform harvesting guidelines and conservation measures. The scope of this project is expected to include an examination of the ecological role of retained
Dicksonia in regrowth forests. The project could focus on flora or fauna.