Animal Biology

Student research projects: Honours, master's and beyond

Further information

  • The Faculty of Science provides further information and guides for fourth year and honours research projects.
  • You can also find information on Honours in the Undergraduate Handbook.

Honours Coordinators

Looking to complete an Honours project, Masters by research or to continue your research journey toward a PhD?

Our school offers many opportunities for students who are interested in continuing their higher education journey.

We have expertise in ecology and conservation, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, behaviour and science communication. Our staff are internationally recognized, run vibrant and well funded research laboratories and have extensive experience in supporting and supervising research students at all levels.

What new skills will you develop?

  • ability to critically appraise scientific literature
  • experimental design
  • advanced statistical analysis
  • written and oral science communication to a diversity of stakeholders

What type of topics are on offer?

Here are just some of the research topics you could study.

Synchronous vocal displays in allied male bottlenose dolphins

Interestingly, synchronous behaviour may have evolved as a coalition signalling system in humans to indicate the quality of the cooperative relationship. Synchronous behaviour in allied male dolphins may therefore represent convergence in the use of synchrony as an alliance signal. The male dolphins in Shark Bay commonly exhibit synchronous physical behavioural displays, but we have recently discovered the production of synchronous vocalisations – namely 'pops', a threat vocalisation they use to herd females.

 
Contact:
Dr Stephanie King

Escape responses in fiddler crabs

How do animals decide when to escape from an approaching predator? We are trying to understand the sensory information animals underlying this decision. The results will tell us how animals measure risk and how they manage to avoid being eaten while still being able to feed and find mates.

Contact:
Dr Jan Hemmi

Targeted nanoparticles to deliver novel combinatorial treatments for secondary degeneration following neurotrauma

Injury to the central nervous system is exacerbated by the progressive secondary degeneration of residual tissue beyond the original injury site. In this project, the student will generate nanoparticle based therapies to deliver combinations of Ca2+ channel inhibitors directly to damaged cells following neurotrauma.

Contact:
Assoc/Prof Lindy Fitzgerald

There are more great projects!

A more comprehensive list of possible topics can be downloaded. This list is not exhaustive and interested students should approach directly research leaders in their field of interest for more opportunities. Some projects have scholarships or extra research funding available.