PhD scholarship: Understanding fruit tree growth and yield through plant modelling


Enrolment status New students
Student type Domestic students, International students
Level of study Higher Degree by Research
Study area Agriculture and Environment
HDR funding type Living stipend scholarship, Tuition Scholarship
Scholarship value $28,854 per annum (2022 rate), indexed annually
Scholarship duration 3.5 years with the possibility of 1 extension in line with UQ and RTP Scholarship Policy
Opening date 7 September 2021
Closing date 27 September 2021


Supervisor – Dr Inigo Auzmendi

In collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team, we have developed a plant physiology model to simulate macadamia trees growing in an orchard with different management practices such as planting density, tree shape and size. Building on this macadamia model, new models for macadamia, mango and/or avocado will be developed. The PhD student will acquire a strong background in plant modelling techniques, as well as areas of plant physiology and horticultural management, to explore how modelling can be used to better understand and improve orchard productivity. Established field trials at Bundaberg and Mareeba will provide experimental material for initial analysis of tree architecture and determining the growth relationships to include in the modelling of the trees.

The physiology and modelling to be studied will relate to one of the following key research areas:

  • orchard light environment and its manipulation by planting density, tree shape and size,
  • tree architecture and its interaction with light environment and crop load,
  • the effect of factors such as carbon allocation on fruit set and yield.

A working knowledge of plant modelling (functional-structural plant models or crop models), plant physiology and/or horticulture would be of benefit to someone working on this project.


To be eligible, you must meet the entry requirements for a higher degree by research.

This scholarship is open to Australian citizens, permanent residents and International students who are currently in Australia at the time of application and commencement.

Before you get started

If this scholarship has rules, download and read them.

How to apply

To apply for admission and scholarship, follow this link. There is no separate application for scholarship because you will have the opportunity to request scholarship consideration on the application for admission.

Before submitting an application you should:

When you apply, please ensure that under the scholarships and collaborative study section you:

  1. Select ‘My higher degree is not collaborative’
  2. Select 'I am applying for, or have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship'.
  3. Select ‘Other’, then ‘Research Project Scholarship’ and type in ‘FRUIT-AUZMENDI’ in the 'Name of scholarship' field.

See an example of what you have to do

Learn more about applying for a higher degree by research at UQ

Selection criteria

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant’s previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

A background or knowledge of plant modelling (functional-structural plant models or crop models), plant physiology and/or horticulture  is highly desirable.


Dr Inigo Auzmendi
+61 7 3443 2702

Terms and conditions

Read the policy on UQ Research Scholarships.

A domestic part-time student with carer’s responsibilities, a medical condition or a disability, which prevents them from studying full time may be eligible for scholarship consideration, on a case by case basis.