Research Honours Platypus Breeding

Synopsis 

The platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is one of the world’s most evolutionarily distinct mammals. Mounting evidence of local platypus population declines demands we improve conservation efforts. A key aspect is to improve our understanding of the breeding biology and requirements of the species which remains incomplete.

Aims

The project aims to investigate reproductive ecology of platypuses. The project will consist of platypus surveys on the Snowy River over the breeding period (October 2021) to monitor indices of health in relation to reproduction in female platypuses. The project will also involve identification of burrow location and record ‘in-burrow’ activity and reproductive success.

Student Benefits

You will work with one of the most unique mammals on earth. You will gain extensive experience in a range of field methods during platypus surveys and monitoring in the Australian Snowy region. You will also develop good quantitative and statistical skills required to analyse collected data. You will also write a paper for peer-reviewed publication. There may be opportunities for a PhD following the project. You will be part of the dynamic Centre for Ecosystem Science and collaborate with researchers from UNSW and Taronga Zoo.