Understanding evolution in natural systems using robotic models

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Understanding evolution in natural systems using robotic models

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Applications may be submitted to the Office of Research until 4pm on 31/10/2018

Our research focuses on the relationship between form, function and ecology of living and extinct animals. One fundamental goal in evolutionary biology is to understand how size can constrain the evolution of morphological traits and limit the ability to exploit ecological niches. Size influences all biological functions from cellular respiration, up to how fast an animals can run or climb. We will study this comparing biological systems to robotic systems

The PhD project will contribute to research that explores the limits to natural evolution. The successful candidate will do this by: 1) Measuring natural variation in running and climbing biomechanics in three species of lizard which vary in body size. 2) Constructing small autonomous climbing robots, recreating the technique used for each lizard species. Then expand the control space with small changes in biomechanics, to determine how well each species is optimised for climbing performance.

For more information contact Dr Christofer Clemente - cclemente@usc.edu.au 

Eligibility:
  • Domestic student or International HDR student at USC
  • Bachelors Degree with First Class Honours or equivalent previous study, relevant work experience, research publications, or other research experience
Selection criteria:
  • Academic qualifications
  • Record of research publications
  • Professional research experience
  • Strong computational and analytical skills in biomechanics
  • Experience using biomechanical assessment tools (e.g. high speed video, force plates)
Other essential qualities include:
  • Strong computational and analytical skills in biomechanics
  • Experience using biomechanical assessment tools (e.g. high speed video, force plates)
Preferred qualities include:
  • Interpersonal skills to work effectively with research animals, team members, and project collaborators
  • Excellent critical thinking skills, ability to work independently
  • Research experience and practical knowledge of research principles, whether through previous internship, work experience, or courswork
  • Interest or previous experience in electronics/microprocessors
  • Interest in evolutionary theory
Eligible programs:
PhD
Number available:
1
Value:
  • Annual stipend of $26,300
  • (For International applicants: Tuition and Overseas Student Health Cover will be included for the standard duration of the program)
Application:
To apply:
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