Monthly Archives: August 2012

When I took up my fellowship in March, I posted the project proposal of the fellowship on my website. My main reason for doing this was to let others know what I planned to work on in the years to come.

In the last few weeks, there’s been a lot of talk on blogs and twitter about making project proposals public and many of the reasons that were mentioned made sense to me. So I’ve taken the time to dig up some older projects and put them on my web site along with some recently submitted proposals.

So, what are my reasons for making them public…

  1. I’ve had good experience in the past sharing unpublished data of mine with others. On pretty much every occasion this has led to fruitful collaboration. I’m hoping posting my project proposals may also lead to some interesting interactions with others working in the same field. Seriously… I can use the help.
  2. I’m also hoping that it may help me to stay focused on the goals of my projects. This has not always been the case in the past and having the proposals out in the open will perhaps generate a stronger sense of responsibility to stick to the plan.
  3. Science and innovation would progress at a faster rate if people openly shared ideas and information and stopped duplicating work simply because they’re unaware others are working on the same thing. Me posting my proposals is a tiny step in that direction.
  4. Last but not least, I’ve learned a lot from studying other people’s proposals. By posting mine, others can now learn from them. They can learn from my mistakes – not all of them got funded – and perhaps identify what made those that did get funded better.

That’s it. I hope something good will come of this.

A PhD student position is available in the lab of Heroen Verbruggen at the University of Melbourne to work on the evolution of ecological niches of marine algae.

You will study how ecological niches of marine algae change over evolutionary timescales and how the niche affinities of lineages influence their speciation-extinction dynamics. The project involves field work, DNA sequencing, molecular phylogenetics, ecological niche modeling and evolutionary modeling.

To be successful you will:

  • satisfy the requirements for a PhD degree at the University of Melbourne (
  • have experience in generating and managing DNA sequences
  • have a strong interest in evolutionary biology and mathematical modeling
  • evidence strong oral and written communication skills

To find out more, follow these links:

To apply, send your CV, a representative piece of English writing (e.g. MSc thesis), and the names and contact information of two or more references (at least one previous supervisor) to Informal enquiries are welcome.

This position is now filled.