First listed on: 28 June 2022

CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biosecurity eDNA Surveillance Using Honey Bees


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 and keen to use environmental DNA (eDNA) collected by honey bees?
  • Work with a collaborative team on biosecurity and eDNA research
  • Join the CSIRO Environomics Future Science Platform for this exciting postdoctoral role

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.

Biomonitoring of the landscape using environmental DNA (eDNA) collected by honey bees has amazing potential for cost?effective area?wide surveillance and has been demonstrated in Australia and overseas in areas such as ecotoxicology, biodiversity and biosecurity. Foraging honey bees interact both directly and passively with the landscape, collecting and returning environmental information back to the hive. Combining this with optimal hive sampling approaches and metagenomics pipelines we can transform managed bee hives into a network of cross?sector surveillance units.

This project is part of the CSIRO Environomics Future Science Platform and aims to build on our team’s expertise in this area to develop an effective system for landscape-level eDNA surveillance using honey bee hives. The CERC Fellow will work with a collaborative team based mostly in Canberra working in biosecurity and eDNA research.

There are three core aspects to the project, which are the design of optimal eDNA collection from bee hives, development of metagenomics workflows to detect high priority biosecurity threats of bee and plant industries, and to design and conduct field validation experiments for the developed platform.

Your duties will include:

  • Designing improved sampling techniques for non-invasive and possibly autonomous collection of eDNA from honey bee hives.
  • Developing metagenomics workflows to detect honey bee pests and pathogens, plant pathogens and high priority weeds.
  • Designing and implementing controlled field experiments to validate and further our understanding the hive surveillance platform.
  • Carrying out innovative, impactful research of strategic importance to CSIRO that will, where possible, lead to novel and important scientific outcomes.

Location: Black Mountain, Canberra
Salary: AU$89k - AU$98k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Specified term of 3 years
Reference: 85753

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (full-time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Demonstrated skills and experience in molecular biology, metagenomics and/or eDNA analysis.
  • Demonstrated skills and experience in designing and conducted field experiments
  • A record of science innovation and creativity, including the ability & willingness to incorporate novel ideas and approaches into scientific investigations.
  • Experience or willingness to work with bee hives with support and training from the project team.

For full details about this role please view the Position Description


Applications for this position are open to Australian and New Zealand Citizens, Australian Permanent Residents and Australian temporary residents currently residing in Australia.

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

28 July, 2022 11:00pm AEST

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