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La Trobe University industry cadetship program at MDFRC

La Trobe University industry cadetship program at MDFRC

The MDFRC is proud to support the La Trobe University  industry cadetship program. Each summer several students from La Trobe University spend 8-10 weeks working with research staff from the MDFRC during the summer holiday period (November to February).The cadetship is available to La Trobe University undergraduate students who are about to complete their second year and are interested in pursuing a career in aquatic ecology.

Since 2006, the MDFRC has supported 35 La Trobe University students from Bundoora and Wodonga campuses. Twelve of these students have progressed to complete Honours degrees with an MDFRC staff supervisor, three of these students have progressed to undertake PhD studies with an MDFRC staff supervisor and nineteen of these students have gained some form of employment with the MDFRC.

Opportunities for a summer cadetship are based at both laboratories and campuses, Mildura and Wodonga. Call for applications will be advertised mid-September 2016.

For further information contact:

Rosie Busuttil (MDFRC Wodonga)

P: 02 6024 9690 |E:

La Trobe University Industry Cadetship Program College of Science, Health & Engineering

P: 03 9479 5763  |E:

For additional information on potential research projects for 2016-2017 download the PDF “MDFRC Potential Projects

In this clip, produced by the La Trobe University Media Department, we hear from students who have spent a summer working at the MDFRC through the La Trobe University industry cadetship prgram. We also hear some comments from MDFRC representatitves about the value of the program to the students involved and to MDFRC.


PDFMDFRC 2016-2017 Potential Projects (606 KB)

2014-2015 project: Dispersal energetics of fishes with different lifestyles: An assessment of the relative ability of fishes to 'bounce back' following disturbance.

The objective of this project is to study the swimming energetics of two fishes with contrasting lifestyles: unspecked hardyhead (pelagic species) and flathead gudegon (benthic species). Building on recent work, we will test the hypothesis that hardyhead have a (a) higher critical swimming velocity, and (b) lower energetic cost of transport, than gudgeons.

2014-2015 project: Identification of physical characteristics of wetland and floodplain plants that facilitate dispersal

This project will use seeds from plant species that have been collected as part of MDFRC plant surveys undertaken by staff Mildura and Wodonga to (i) photograph and describe the physical characteristics of seed; (ii) obtain estimates of the weight of seeds, and (iii) undertake experiments to estimate of the duration that seeds of individual species float.

2014-2015 project: Finding new species of caddisflies

This project focuses on determining if some populations of Caddisflies on mainland Australia are new species. The student will collect material from Mt Kosciusko and possibly Mount Buller and the Bogong High Plains, depending on specimens already in the MDFRC collection. The student will learn the basics of taxonomy and will identify diagnostic characters that separate out the tentative species. They will also carry out some genetic analyses that will help inform their taxonomic decisions.