Higher Degree by Research Application Portal

TitleThe impact of diet on fertility: A Nutritional Geometry approach

Project Description: Despite the essential role food plays in our lives, we have little understanding of how different nutrients work together to impact health and well-being, or the reasons animals, including humans, choose certain combinations of food. The aim of this project is to understand the evolutionary basis of food preferences using insects models in the laboratory.

Using an advanced experimental and analytics technique known as Nutritional Geometry, this project will test how preferences for different nutrient combinations (e.g. different ratios of protein to non-protein, different combinations of micronutrients) impact life history traits such as reproduction and health. The successful candidate would develop their own projects within the broad scope of this research program. These might include how natural and sexual selection shape food preferences, and how genes interact with dietary environment to impact the phenotypic expression of life history traits. The candidate will have the opportunity to develop skills in multivariate experimental dietary studies, experimental evolution, quantitative genetics, advanced machine learning, systematic reviews and meta-analysis.

Keywordsecology, evolution, organismal biology
Opportunity statusOpen
Open date01 Jan 2024
Close date31 Oct 2024
Research areaBiological Sciences

Prospective candidates should have Masters or Honours degree (first class or equivalent).

Specific requirement

Experience in Ecology and Evolution with an emphasis on invertebrates preferred. Good interpersonal communication and the ability to work as part of a multidisciplinary team will be expected. The ability for independent, organized work and advanced communication skills in English (oral and written) are also essential.

How to apply

This project is supervised by Dr Yong Zhi Foo and Prof Leigh W. Simmons. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact both Dr Foo (yong.foo@uwa.edu.au) and Prof Simmons (leigh.simmons@uwa.edu.au).


Dr Yong Zhi Foo (yong.foo@uwa.edu.au) and Prof Leigh Simmons (leigh.simmons@uwa.edu.au).

Scholarship details
Scholarship typeStipend scholarship
Scholarship valueAUD $35,000pa
SchoolSchool of Biological Sciences
Course typeDoctorates
The impact of diet on fertility: A Nutritional Geometry approach