First listed on: 11 June 2022

CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Prawn Ablation and Welfare


Acknowledgement of Country

CSIRO acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land, sea and waters, of the area that we live and work on across Australia. We acknowledge their continuing connection to their culture and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. View our vision towards reconciliation

The Opportunity

  • Do you have a PhD in zoology, molecular biology, functional genomics or marine science?
  • Significant opportunity to transform the welfare landscape of the global prawn industry
  • Join CSIRO Agriculture and Food for this exciting Brisbane-based postdoctoral opportunity

CSIRO Early Research Career (CERC) Postdoctoral Fellowships provide opportunities to scientists and engineers who have completed their doctorate and have less than three years of relevant postdoctoral work experience. These fellowships aim to develop the next generation of future leaders of the innovation system.

We are thrilled to be able to deliver on the commitment we made in our strategy to invest in frontier science with the CSIRO Agriculture & Food Winanga-y Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme. The word Winanga-y (pronounced win-na-gnay) is a cultural asset gifted by the Traditional Owners from the Gomeroi Nation in Myall Vale to CSIRO’s Agriculture and Food business unit to name the new Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme. Winanga-y means to understand, know, remember, and think.

Ablation is the process of removing one eyestalk of the female prawn, to encourage gonadal development by significantly reducing negative regulatory hormones produced by organs within the eye that control gonadal maturation. This practice is used in commercial prawn hatcheries to stimulate female gonadal development and allow predictable, large-volume seedstock supply for farming. However, prawn welfare in Australia and globally is at risk from the practice of ablation. The CERC Fellow will seek to develop multidisciplinary and systematic predictive and interventional tools with potential to promote female prawn ovary maturation and eliminate industrial eyestalk ablation. Alongside, the CERC Fellow will utilise advanced molecular technologies and omics to establish tools that quantify and monitor stress, condition or reproductive potential, as well as define new behavioural assessment metrics for crustacean welfare. This project holds significant opportunity to transform the welfare landscape of the global prawn industry supporting sustainable growth of the Australian prawn industry and establishing new welfare benchmarks.

Your duties will include:

  • Managing research in collaboration with internal, academic and industry partners.
  • Carrying out novel science that will support breeding and welfare of high-quality black tiger prawn broodstock and identify mechanisms that can then be used to ultimately predict and control maturation without the need for ablation.
  • Carrying out impactful science in aquatic animal welfare that adds to the capability of the CSIRO Livestock and Aquaculture team and explore new and novel future science directions. 

Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Salary: AU$89k - AU$98k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Specified term of 3 years
Reference: 84818

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as zoology, molecular biology, functional genomics or marine science. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (or full-time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  •  Experience in the application of molecular techniques (transcriptomics, proteomics or metabolomics) to understand the regulation of complex traits.
  • High level written and oral communication skills with the ability to represent the research team effectively internally and externally, including the presentation of research outcomes at national and international conferences.

For full details about this role please view the Position Description


CSIRO is an Equal Opportunity employer working hard to recruit world-class talent that represents the diversity across our society. As part of our commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment outcomes, preference will be given to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates who meet the role criteria.

Appointment to this role is subject to provision of a national police check and may be subject to other security/medical/character requirements.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. 

Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit people representing the diversity across our society, and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish. 


At CSIRO Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. We put the safety and wellbeing of our people above all else and earn trust everywhere because we only deal in facts. We collaborate widely and generously and deliver solutions with real impact. 

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

How to Apply

Please apply on-line and provide a cover letter and CV that best demonstrate your motivation and ability to meet the requirements of this role.

Applications Close

14 July 2022, 11:00pm AEST

Recent Jobs