Bee-friendly venom-derived bioinsecticides - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Bee-friendly venom-derived bioinsecticides

This PhD scholarship will be advertised until the position is filled.

The ARC-funded project "Be{e)-friendly venomous spiders" aims at discovering novel environmentally-friendly bioinsecticides from the worlds largest collection of arachnid venoms. These venoms will be screened for orally active insecticidal toxins targeting pest caterpillars and for anti-parasitic compounds that target honeybee parasites such as Varroa mites and small hive beetles.

A combination of high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) and mass spectrometry (MS) will be used to isolate active toxins from the venoms. A range of insect cultures will be maintained to screen candidate toxins for on- and off-target toxicity. Molecular target of candidate toxins will be identified by using patch-clamp electrophysiology on primary insect cells (DUM neurons).

We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD candidate that is not afraid to work with a range of arthropods (e.g. caterpillars, honeybees, beetles, flies, centipedes, spiders, scorpions).

For more information please contact: 

Volker Herzig
A/Prof., ARC Future Fellow'
School of Science and Engineering
07 5456 5382

  • Be accepted into a Higher Degrees by Research program at the University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Not have an equivalent qualification to the one for which they are currently applying
  •  Have a First-Class Bachelor Honours Degree, or show equivalent level of achievement with other academic
    qualifications or professional research experience
  • Applications are welcome from both Domestic and International students
  • Previous knowledge on electrophysiological techniques (two-electrode voltage-clamp or patch-clamp) and arthropod handling and maintenance would be quite beneficial for the project.
  • Experience in working with venoms and recombinant or chemical peptide synthesis would also greatly benefit the project.
Selection criteria
  • Undergraduate degree
  • Research training degree (First Class Honours or equivalent)
  • Research publications
  • Professional research experience
  • Annual stipend equivalent to the Research Training Program. Stipend value in 2020 is $28,092.
  • Annual tuition fees: $29,000
  • Overseas student health cover (single cover): $3,420
To apply:
  • If you are not a current USC HDR student, complete an application for program admission following the directions on the HDR Applicants page
  • Next, apply for the scholarship: