Students and Associates

Prospective Students

I’m looking for new, highly-motivated research students to join my DeakinSeaweed research team in any of my key research areas.  PhDs at Deakin University are 3 years, during which time students will be supported with up to $11,200 base-level research funding.  Students will also be encouraged and supported to apply for additional research funding as required.  In most cases students will be expected to be full-time (exceptions for students with caring responsibilities and other non-financial reasons) and thus need to be able to support themselves financially. I will consider taking on international and domestic PhD students if they are competitive for a scholarship.  Deakin’s PhD Scholarships are currently valued at approximately A$26,682 per annum and the program is free of tuition fees for scholarship holders if completed within the 3 year time frame.   Before contacting me, please consider whether you will be competitive and check the Deakin scholarships page and other opportunities to fund your studies. After you have assessed your ability to support yourself during a PhD, please contact me with a brief CV (including a list of any peer-reviewed papers) and a statement on your research interests and what you can bring to our team.

Prospective Honours students can check my current list of projects here or contact me to discuss other options.

DeakinSeaweed Staff

Dr Alecia Bellgrove – Team Leader


Dr Prue Francis


Dr Cecilia Biancacci – Industry Postdoctoral Research Fellow

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Dr Jacqui Pocklington – Honorary Research Fellow


Current  Students

Zoё Brittain   PhD 2020 –   Indigenous knowledge and Blue Growth with a focus on the emerging Australasian seaweed industry


Cátia de Frietas PhD 2020 –  Using children’s literature to teach marine science concepts


Thiru Somasundarum PhD 2019-   Future-proofing the Australian dairy industry through seaweed supplementation (in collaboration with the NuSea.Lab)


(Ellyn) Erlania  PhD  2018 –   Quantifying contributions of seaweeds to blue carbon deposits (in collaboration with the Blue Carbon Lab)


Erin Cumming   PhD 2015-    Developing seaweed production techniques for Phyllospora comosa


Vanessa Skrypczyk   PhD (part-time) 2015-    Sustainable solutions using Australian seaweeds: nutritional profiles and potential for heavy metal contamination (in collaboration with the NuSea.Lab)


Past Students

Rachael Cook  Honours 2018 – 2019  Predicting the response of a marine foundation species to a changing climate (co-supervised with Adam Miller)

Zoё Brittain   Honours (H1) 2018   Learning from Elders – can historical Indigenous uses of seaweeds inform a sustainable Australian seaweed industry?

Sarah Murfitt  Honours (H1) 2016  Applications of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in intertidal reef monitoring (co-supervised with Daniel Ierodiaconou)

Margie Morrice   PhD completed 2013    Fine-scale foraging habitat and behavioural responses of pygmy blue whales

Vanessa Skrzypczyk   Honours (H1) 2013    Nutritional characterisation and sensorial properties of Australian marine macroalgae

Sheridan Duncan   Honours (H1) 2013    Effects of elevated orthophosphate on growth of a turfing coralline alga

Maria Garcia Rojas   PhD completed 2012    Influence of sea-ice structure on minke whale and other krill-predator distribution

Jacqui Pocklington   PhD completed 2012    The ecological role of canopy-forming fucoid algae on temperate intertidal rocky shores

Hayley Cameron   Honours (H1) 2012    Restoration of the habitat-forming fucoid macroalga, Hormosira banksii, at effluent-affected shores following waste-water remediation

Aimee Hauser   Honours (H1) 2012    Hormosira banksii (Turner) Decaisne: Is it truly a single species?

Jessica McKenzie   PhD completed 2011    Coastal responses to estuarine discharge from intermittently open systems

Jacquomo Monk   PhD completed 2011    Understanding fish-habitat associations using video observations and sonar imaging

Daniel Grixti   PhD completed 2011    Estimating and improving the survival of recreationally caught-and-released fish and incorporating this current survivorship into fisheries models

Prue McKenzie   PhD completed 2008    Potential for long-distance dispersal of Hormosira banksii

Melissa Evans   Honours (H1) 2007    Trampling effects on algal turf communities in the Merri Marine Sanctuary

Jacquomo Monk   Honours (H1) 2006    A Starting Point: Mapping of the Subtidal Zones of the Merri Marine Sanctuary using an Integrated Community-based Monitoring GIS Approach

Jenna Hill     Honours (H1) 2005

Jessica McKenzie   Honours (H1) 2005    Temporal and spatial variability in the supply of propagules of Hormosira banksii

Joel Williams   Honours (H2A) 2004    Baseline study of rocky reef assemblages within the Merri Marine Sanctuary, Victoria

Peter Fraser   Honours (H2A) 2004    Effects of proximity to seagrass, zonation and physical disturbance on mangrove-associated fish assemblages in a temperate Australian embayment

Prue McKenzie   Honours (H1) 2003   Variation between fertilisation success and subsequent development of Hormosira banksii (Phaeophyceae: Fucales) at different spatial scales

Rebecca Callea   Honours (H2A) 2003    An investigation of roe conditioning in the sea urchin, Heliocidaris erythrogamma (Valenciennes, 1846)