Identification of exotic bacterial and viral pathogens in imported ornamental fish and managing the disease risks posed by these fish to the Australian aquaculture industries


The project will provide a comprehensive study into the identification of nationally and internationally significant pathogens carried by ornamental fish imported to Australia.  


Associate Professor Joy Becker

Research Location

School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Program Type



The project will provide a comprehensive study into the identification of nationally and internationally significant pathogens carried by ornamental fish imported to Australia.Nearly 18 million ornamental fish are imported annually under a policy based on an Import Risk Analysis published in 1999. Despite the biosecurity measures in place since 2000, there have been several incidents of exotic pathogens from ornamental fish affecting wild and farmed fish populations. The study will identify species of imported ornamental fish harbouring diseases of quarantine significance and what threat the distribution of these fish pose to the wild or natural and aquaculture fish populations in Australia. The results of this study will provide information to improve current quarantine procedures and policy in the management of the biosecurity risk of imported ornamental fish. The project will start in early 2015.

Additional Information

The student will be based at the Camden campus of the University of Sydney. The student should have a good quantitative aptitude and willing to learn diverse range of epidemiological and laboratory methods.The successful candidate must have completed an undergraduate degree in science, agriculture, veterinary science or equivalent, have research experience (Honours or Master's degree), good analytical and communication skills.The successful applicant must apply for and be awarded a scholarship (stipend) for example, a Research Training Program Stipend Scholarhip. For international students, the student must have a scholarship which covers full tuition fees and a living allowance.

HDR Inherent Requirements
In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

- Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
- Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
- Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
- Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
- Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
- Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
- Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
- Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
- Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
- Hold a current scuba diving license;
- Hold a current Working with Children Check;
- Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

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fish, ornamental fish

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1913