Doctoral study in Biological Sciences

New Zealand’s leading and largest Faculty of Science* brings together ten diverse schools and departments to provide outstanding quality teaching and research opportunities. Our doctoral students work with some of the nation’s leading researchers and benefit from the faculty’s connections with international universities and industry. You will also have access to high-quality laboratory and field research facilities.


Research opportunities in Biological Sciences

We welcome PhD proposals in areas including:

Biomedical and Applied Biology

  • Metabolism and Physiology
  • Applied Biochemistry
  • Genetics and Metagenomics
  • Cell Biology Immunology
  • Stem Cell Biology
  • Neuroscience

Cellular, Molecular and Organismal Biology

  • Biochemistry
  • Plant Molecular Science
  • Microbiology
  • Genetics
  • Structural Biology
  • Mass Spectrometry

Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour

  • Ecology and Evolution
  • Behaviour
  • Conservation and Biosecurity
  • Ecophysiology
  • Systematics and Biodiversity

Our people

Many of our knowledgeable scientists are major contributors in their field.

(and search on relevant topics)

Research topics

See a selection of past and present research topics:

  • Vaccinium anthocyanin biosynthesis is regulated at the transcriptional level  | supervised by Andy Allan
  • Integrative analyses of seabird health down environmental gradients | supervised by Brendon Dunphy
  • Investigating the influence of dietary zinc on the gut microbiome of a mouse model of autism | supervised by Mike Taylor
  • Alternative mechanisms of flowering time in the model legume medicago | supervised by Joanna Putterill
  • The behaviour, ecology and evolution of the praying mantids | supervised by Greg Holwell
  • Energy Balance in a New Zealand Bat (Mystacina tuberculata): Thermoregulation, Roost Choice, and Diet | supervised by Tony Hickey
  • Seabird Sensory, Ecology and Conservation |supervised by Anne Gaskett
  • Sperm performance and fertilisation in the sea urchin Evechinus chloroticus under increasing pCO2 | supervised by Mary Sewell
  • Molecular Determinants of Amylin Receptor Agonism | supervised by Debbie Hay
  • Reproductive Genomics in the Stick Insect Clitarchus hookeri | supervised by Thomas Buckley

For more information about PhD theses and topics you may be interested in, or supervisors and their past research, please use the search function on the Libraries and Learning Services catalogue.

Scholarships and awards

Here are some of the scholarships you may be eligible for when you decide to pursue your PhD in Biological Sciences:
  • MBIE PhD Scholarship in the Microbiology of the Hindgut in Seaweed-Eating Fish
  • BOTU PhD Scholarship in Ocular Therapeutics

See our University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship page for more scholarship opportunities. Or search our database for scholarships that may be available.

Help and advice

Please see our Doctoral students section for further information, advice and contact information.

Apply for doctoral study