Herbicide resistance represents one of the greatest threats to global food security and given that our current herbicides have begun to fail, novel approaches are urgently required to develop new treatments. This project aims to tackle herbicide resistance by identifying new herbicide candidates that inhibit amino acid biosynthesis. Specifically, we will exploit the similarity between bacterial and plant enzymes in these pathways to re-purpose failed ‘antibiotics’. The expected outcomes of this exciting project include advances in our knowledge of the structure, function and inhibition of novel herbicide targets, the identification of compounds with herbicidal activity, and significant long-term contributions towards food security.

A fully funded PhD scholarship in the Antibiotic & Herbicide Discovery Group of Dr Tatiana Soares da Costa is available at the University of Adelaide, based at the Waite Research Institute. The successful candidate must commence study by 30 June 2023 and will be working within a multidisciplinary team funded by an Australian Research Council grant awarded to Dr Tatiana Soares da Costa and Prof Marilyn Anderson, including a postdoctoral researcher.

The multidisciplinary PhD project will integrate innovative approaches in biochemistry, molecular biology and plant biology. The successful candidate will be an integral part of the team of researchers involved in this project and will be expected to collaborate closely with colleagues at the University of Adelaide.

Techniques that will be acquired throughout PhD

Protein expression and purification techniques; enzyme assays; X-ray crystallography; cell culture; bacteriology assays; metabolomics and transcriptomics; inhibitor discovery and characterisation techniques.

Required skills

Strong biochemistry, molecular biology or plant biology background, First Class Honours or Masters degree in related field, Strong work ethic and highly ambitious, Good communication skills

Expression of interest

Expressions of interest should be submitted to Dr Tatiana Soares da Costa via e-mail with the name of scholarship in the subject heading. Please ensure you include all of the following documents:

  • Evidence of Australian or New Zealand citizenship, or Australian permanent resident status (if applicable)
  • Degree certificates (testamurs)
  • Academic transcripts
  • Translations of non-English documentation
  • Evidence of English language proficiency
  • Curriculum vitae

For more information about Dr Tatiana Soares da Costa’s research: Tatiana Soares da Costa | Researcher Profiles (adelaide.edu.au)

For more information on eligibility and stipend, please visit the University of Adelaide scholarship website.

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