Join the Lab

Please email me ( if you are interested in joining the lab (including a CV and brief description of your interests). The work in the the group straddles both theoretical and experimental research. With this in my mind, theoreticians, experimentalists, and everyone in between are equally welcome – maths and programming skills are handy, but so is knowing how to handle a pippette. Scientific curiosity and collegiality are prerequisites.

PhD opportunity: The costs of consequences of antimicrobial resistance in microbial communities

Applicants are invited for a fully funded PhD position to work on antimicrobial resistance in microbial communities.

Background: Ecological theory provides a powerful framework for understanding the competitive balance between sensitive and resistant bacteria, and therefore the evolution of resistance (Letten et al, 2021). The primary goal of this ARC funded project is to go beyond the theory and test how well we can predict the evolution and persistence of resistant bacteria in microbial communities under the highly variable environmental conditions typical of most microbial systems (from soils and water to the gut). This is critical not only for our fundamental understanding of microbial competition and evolution, but also ultimately for the identification and development of new ecologically-aware strategies for managing resistance.

A wide variety of investigatory approaches fall within the scope of the project including high throughput screening and competition assays, molecular work, mathematical modelling, and computer simulations. The PhD student will have ample room to take the project in a more experimental or computational/theoretical direction depending on their interests and background. This is to say that highly motivated students that are primarily interested, or have a strong background, in either empirical or computational/theoretical research are both encouraged to apply. Similarly, the project is suitable to students coming from a microbiology or molecular background interested in ecological and evolutionary research, or those coming from an ecological or evolutionary background who are interested in bringing their knowledge to microbial systems.

A working knowledge of laboratory research, experimental evolution and/or mathematical modelling would be of benefit to someone working on this project. The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of ecology, evolutionary biology, microbiology or molecular biology and the potential for scholastic success. A background or knowledge of R or Python programming and ecological and/or evolutionary theory is highly desirable.

The student will be based in the School of Biological Sciences at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. We are a research-intensive University and our School comprises more than 100 academic and postdoctoral research staff, and ~200 higher-degree research students. The student and project will benefit from the School’s formidable research expertise in ecology, evolutionary biology and genetics, physiology, and mathematical, statistical and computational biology.

As a scholarship recipient, you’ll receive:

  • Living stipend of $28,854 per annum tax free (2022 rate), indexed annually
  • Tuition fees covered
  • Single Overseas Student Health Cover (international applicants)

Please contact Dr Andrew Letten ( as soon as possible if you are interested, and for more information on the recruitment process .


I would be delighted to support competitive postdocs in writing fellowship applications. Potential fellowships include:

PhD and Masters

PhD and Masters students should contact me as early as possible in the application cycle (see UQGSS for deadlines). I am very happy to support domestic students in applying for Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarships, and both domestic and international students in applying for UQ Graduate School Scholarships

Honours and Undergraduates

Send me an email or knock on my door (Rm 242 Goddard)!