Study in China 2022 | Fully Funded Master’s Opportunity in Hong Kong

The stream and amphibian ecology lab at Lingnan University Hong Kong, China is seeking a master’s student (MPhil) to complete thesis research under a funded project to investigate the effects of chemical defense, salamander chytrid fungus, and ectoparasite on populations of Hong Kong newt.

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The Hong Kong newt is an Old World salamander (family Salamandridae) thought to be threatened by several anthropogenic (e.g., deforestation, roadkill, stream pollution) factors. Previous ecological research on this species found that deforestation negatively influences the survival of this species. Still, the actual effects of the aforementioned anthropogenic factors and the role of natural factors such as chemical defense (i.e., skin toxicity), disease, and parasite are largely unknown. Through a continuation and expansion of a long-term demographic study, the student will seek to
1. Assess ectoparasite burden and prevalence of salamander chytrid fungus in populations of Hong Kong newt
2.  Develop a non-invasive sampling procedure to quantify skin toxicity and assess skin toxicity of Hong Kong newt
3. Identify hotspots of anthropogenic disturbance and assess the impact of anthropogenic disturbance to Hong Kong newt
4. Determine the effects of ectoparasite burden, pathogen prevalence, chemical defense, and anthropogenic disturbance on key demographic parameters of Hong Kong newt

Required Qualifications:

  1. B.S. in ecology, conservation biology or related field by August 2022. The successful applicant must also meet the minimum requirements for admission to the Lingnan University MPhil program. Check the admission requirement here.
    2. Applicants should also demonstrate excellent written and oral communication skills, experience in conducting field work, and an ability to work independently while following safety protocols. Candidates from underrepresented groups in wildlife and ecology are strongly encouraged to apply.

Preferred Qualifications

Priority will be given to candidates with experience in analytical chemistry (LC-MS/MS) and molecular biology (qPCR), familiarity and proficiency in statistical software (e.g., R, Program MARK, etc.), and a valid driver’s license.


Monthly stipend of HK$17,830 (~US$2,200)for two academic years. The student is responsible for tuition (HK$42,100 per year, ~US$5,400), though local applicants are eligible for the merit-based tuition waiver offered by the University Grant Committee (


21 January 2022

Preferred start date: September 2022

Contact: Dr Anthony Lau (


Application Instructions

To apply, email a single PDF that includes:
(1) Letter of interest no longer than 1.5 pages
(2) CV that includes GPA and three references (including a field supervisor)
(3) University transcripts (unofficial is fine)
(4) Sample of academic writing

Please title the PDF “Lastname_Firstname_HKnewt.pdf” and include “Hong Kong Newt MPhil” in the email subject addressed to Dr. Anthony Lau (

Apply by January 21st for full consideration, though the position may remain open until a suitable candidate is found. The successful applicant will be asked to apply to Lingnan University School of Graduate Studies.

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