Tag Archives: biology

PhD Scholarship available, apply now!

Apply for this PhD scholarship 28K plus fees pa for 3 years.


Novel mass spectroscopy for detection of insect biosecurity threats

Ideally you will have

  • a  first-class Honours or Master’s degree in biology or chemistry
    skills in mass spectrometry

  • an interest in entomology
  • demonstrated competence in statistical analysis
  • experience with multivariate data analysis and/or machine learning

Rapid Evaporative Ionisation Mass Spectrometry (REIMS) has been used to “fingerprint” food but has yet to be applied to detect biosecurity threats to plants. A particularly difficult challenge is the rapid id of insect pests, especially when endemic species look similar.

You will focus on foundational work, develop and validate REIMS ability to detect insect biosecurity threats, classify samples and quantify limitations, e.g., influence of sample age and storage.

You will work in New Zealand’s only REIM facility, work collaboratively at AgResearch, as well as at Lincoln University and at Canterbury University, where you will gain excellent opportunities for networking.

This scholarship is supported through a Better Border Biosecurity programme (www.b3nz.org.nz) collaboration between the University of Canterbury’s Biosecurity Innovation Research Cluster (UCBI), AgResearch and Lincoln University.

Your supervisors will be Assoc. Prof Steve Pawson (UC School of Forestry, Director UC Biosecurity Innovations), Assoc. Prof. Alastair Ross (AgResearch) and Dr Karen Armstrong (Lincoln University).

Find out more and get in touch!


UC PhD scholarship

Check out this exciting UC PhD Scholarship “Applying novel mass spectrometry (REIMS)  to detect insect biosecurity threats“.

Kkmurray, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

You will have a first class honours or Masters degree in biology or chemistry and demonstrated competence in statistical analysis

If you have prior experience using mass spectrometry, competence in multivariate analysis and/or machine learning and an interest in entomology, that would be ideal.

You will be working at New Zealand’s only Rapid Evaporative Ionisation Spectrometry (REIMS) facility. REIMS is an novel mass spectrometry interface that is used to check the provenance of food.  Within seconds, a metabolic fingerprint classifies a sample.

You will apply REIMS to plant health biosecurity. An effective biosecurity system is crucial to protect New
Zealand’s primary production base and unique environment. A particularly difficult challenge is the rapid
identification of insect threats, especially where endemic species look similar to unwanted pest species. With the habitat range of pest insects changing with climate change and trade patterns, rapid
detection is crucial to inform biosecurity response operations.

Supervised by Assoc. Prof. Steve Pawson, UCBI, Assoc. Prof. Alastair Ross, AgResearch, Dr Karen Armstrong, Lincoln University and supported by Better Border Biosecurity (B3).

28K  + fees per annum for 3 years, applications close 31 Jan 2023.

Check out our scholarships and projects on https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/biosecurity-innovations/scholarships-and-projects/.

Find out more and get in touch!