RHDV: Mechanisms of transmission
Location: University of Adelaide, Adelaide SA and Vertebrate Pest Research Unit, Orange NSW
Supervisors: Dr. Tarnya Cox, Assoc. Prof. Phil Cassey
Contact: email@example.com or ph: (02) 6391 3952, Phill.Cassey@adelaide.edu.au or ph: (08) 8313 4042
The escape, and subsequent release of, rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) into the feral rabbit population in Australia in 1995 reduced rabbit numbers by up to 95%. RHDV continues to persist in the Australian environment and continues to cause pathogenic infection in rabbits across the country. However, understanding of how the virus persists in the environment and how disease outbreaks are triggered remain unknown.
The aim of this project is to develop a greater understanding of the interactions between rabbits, RHDV and the environment. Topics such as virus persistence, outbreak dynamics, and modes of transmission will all be investigated. The student should have an understanding of epidemiology, disease dynamics and ecological interactions.
Implications of this research are far reaching: while the focus in Australia is to improve our understanding of RHDV transmission for pest animal management purposes, this research will also provide valuable information to researchers where native rabbit populations are in decline.
Field sites will be based in the central tablelands of NSW and industry placement for the successful candidate will be offered at the Vertebrate Pest Research Unit in Orange NSW. Students will be required to be eligible for an APA. A four year top-up scholarship (total scholarship value is $31,653 per year for four years), as well as mentorship opportunities and career-readiness training will be made available to the successful candidate.
Interested students should submit a letter of application and relevant documentation outlining their suitability to:
Dr Tarnya Cox
Ph: 02 6391 3952