The Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority enjoys an international reputation in biodiversity conservation science, undertaking integrated research focused on practical outcomes in native plant biology, rare plant conservation and bushland restoration. Successful conservation outcomes are achieved through world-class research and strategic alliances with industry, land managers, the community and other research organisations.

Science seminars

Academics, Government staff, researchers and interested members of the public are welcome to attend seminars, which are held in the Biodiversity Conservation Centre for staff and students at various times throughout the year. Details are posted to our events calendar.

Tertiary education

Science Directorate staff contribute to teaching in other plant biology, conservation biology, and restoration ecology courses at the University of Western Australia, Murdoch University, and Curtin University. Future postgraduate students may also be interested in the projects listed below co-supervised by Kings Park Staff. Contact Science Administration for more information.

Kings Park Summer Scholarships

These annual scholarships provide the opportunity for talented contemplating honours or post-graduate research in native plant conservation biology or restoration ecology to undertake a 12-week research project, under supervision of scientists within the Biodiversity Conservation Centre, Kings Park and Botanic Garden. Applications are now open

Contact Dr Siegy Krauss or Science Administration for more information.

Kings Park scholars in the lab.

Post-graduate project opportunities

Conservation Genetics

  • Towards a provenance atlas for priority species: applying genetic and non-genetic approaches for defining seed collection zones for restoration.
  • An ecological genetic assessment of spatial genetic variation in priority restoration species.
  • Overcoming the factors limiting seed production in wild and farmed populations - role of pollinators and mating systems.
  • Testing the home-site advantage: establishing and assessing provenance trials for better seed sourcing for ecological restoration.
  • Assessing the response of plant populations to climate change: implications for seed sourcing for restoration.
  • An ecological genetic assessment of seed production areas for ecological restoration.
  • Evolutionary and conservation consequences of pollination by birds and mammals.

Conservation Biotechnology

  • Cryo-conservation for endangered plants; researching and developing novel cryogenic technologies for long-term preservation in liquid nitrogen.
  • Genetics of cryopreserved plant material: can genetic stability be presumed, or is there more to it?
  • Cryoinjury and oxidation stress: understanding source, effect and mitigation.
  • The emergency ward: developing micropropagation for endangered plants needing conservation and restoration.
  • Investigation of photoautotrophic growth for difficult to micropropagate species.
  • Understanding physiology of micropropagated plant responses to stress incurred during transfer from the in vitro environment to soil and ex vitro conditions.

Seed Conservation

  • Engineering the establishment niche: seed priming technologies to overcome seedling recruitment failure in minesite restoration.
  • Ecophysiology of seed dormancy and germination: creating the capacity for germination on demand for species required for minesite restoration.
  • Restoration seed banking capability: seed storage behaviour and longevity.
  • The phylogenetic distribution of physical seed dormancy in Australian native Acacia species.
  • The role of oxygen in regulating dormancy and germination in the seeds of Australian native plants.

Species Recovery

  • Threatened flora restoration: defining the ecological drivers of rarity to inform restoration approaches for mine site management of narrow range endemic species.
  • Development of novel translocation approaches for restoration of rare and short-range endemic flora.
  • Integrated propagation of endemic and range restricted recalcitrant species.
  • Seed ecology of short-range endemics and implications for restoration of minesite impacted taxa.

Restoration Ecology

  • Designing restoration systems based on plant-soil relations and feedbacks.
  • Defining plant physiological thresholds in restoration environments.
  • Optimising soil moisture availability in restoration environments.
  • Identifying ecological adaptations of shallow soil endemic species.

Ecosystem Ecology

  • How plant functional traits interact with varying fire season, intensity or interval to influence the persistence of plant populations under different fire regimes.
  • How fire regime interacts with drivers such as herbivore abundance, weed cover and climate change to influence management objectives (biodiversity conservation, fire risk management, invasive species).
  • Understanding ecological, physiological and hydrological processes underlying tree decline and ecosystem change in Banksia woodlands.
  • The population ecology, seed biology and fire response of invasive plant species.
  • Harnessing synergies and not perverse outcomes when managing fire and weeds.
  • Pollination and dispersal processes in natural, fragmented and restored landscapes.

Contact Dr Siegy Krauss or Science Administration for more information.

Horticultural trainees

The Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority provides opportunities for students to work alongside qualified and experienced staff while studying at TAFE for qualifications in horticulture, arboriculture, turf management or conservation and land management.

Trainees are given the opportunity to learn a variety of horticultural, botanical and conservation skills and knowledge within the areas of the nursery, botanic garden, parkland, bushland, collection displays, turf, arboriculture and the Western Australian Seed Technology Centre.

Trainees are recruited annually and employed on one, two or three year contracts, depending upon qualifications already held. Positions are usually advertised during October or November. For more information, contact our Customer Service Officer.