PhD Scholarship

UNSW and CSIRO Collaboration

A Competitive PhD Scholarship:
$26K tax free per annum

Topic: Multi-agent spatial modelling of foot-and-mouth disease

Location: School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences (PEMS) and the Defence and Security Applications Research Centre (DSA), University of New South Wales, Canberra Campus, Australia

The deliberate introduction of an exotic animal disease, such as foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) into Australia, in order to exact economic damage, is considered a plausible bioterrorist scenario. Being able to realistically model the course of such an induced epidemic would provide veterinary and defence authorities with a useful tool to understand how it might develop and assist in evolving control strategies. A natural framework for such epidemic disease modelling uses a network of farms based on established contact structures. Although such models have been successfully developed for some human diseases, this approach cannot readily be applied to a FMD outbreak due to the lack of much of the requisite data. As data capture is unlikely to improve in the foreseeable future, the challenge is to develop sophisticated models which accept imperfect input data. The PhD student will investigate potential complex systems models for this problem.

The Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) at CSIRO and the School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences (PEMS) at the University of New South Wales-ADFA campus in Canberra, are calling for nominations from suitable students to join a team of world-class researchers looking at fundamental and applied research of complex adaptive systems approaches. The candidate will be located in Canberra, with potential visits to the AAHL laboratory in Geelong, Victoria. The candidate will be supervised by Dr. Amy Griffin (UNSW-ADFA) and co-supervised by Dr. Peter Durr (CSIRO) and A/Prof. Hussein Abbass (UNSW-ADFA).

Applicants should have a first-class honours or equivalent in geography, geomatics, mathematics, information technology, physics, or other relevant areas. The applicant should possess basic computer programming skills. The DSA has licenses for a number of multi-agent system software packages, therefore low level programming may not be required.

Applications should include a detailed CV (please include a summary of your transcript) and a cover letter detailing the relevance of the applicants' background to the project.

Queries should be emailed to Dr Amy L. Griffin, Deadline for applications is 15 January 2007, or until the position is filled, for a possible starting date of March 2007.


World-class basic and applied inter-disciplinary research on questions fundamental to understanding, designing and managing complex systems
2009 The ARC Centre for Complex Systems, Australia