CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Forecasting and Managing Pest Outbreaks

Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Brisbane, Australia

Job posting number: #7101870 (Ref:cj_84745)

Posted: June 10, 2022

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Acknowledgement of Country

CSIRO acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land, sea and waters, of the area that we live and work on across Australia. We acknowledge their continuing connection to their culture and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. View our vision towards reconciliation

The Opportunity


  • Do you have a PhD in Computer Science (MLAI), Physics, Aeronautics or Radar Aeroecology?
  • Work on a project to radically scale-up and transform Weather Radar analytics and information on the movement of agricultural insect pests in the Asia-Pacific region
  • Be part of a diverse research team in this exciting postdoctoral role


CSIRO Early Research Career (CERC) Postdoctoral Fellowships provide opportunities to scientists and engineers who have completed their doctorate and have less than three years of relevant postdoctoral work experience. These fellowships aim to develop the next generation of future leaders of the innovation system.


We are thrilled to be able to deliver on the commitment we made in our strategy to invest in frontier science with the CSIRO Agriculture & Food Winanga-y Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme. The word Winanga-y (pronounced win-na-gnay) is a cultural asset gifted by the Gomeroi Nation in Myall Vale to CSIRO's Agriculture and Food Business Unit to name the new Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme. Winanga-y means to understand, know, remember, and think.

The CERC Fellow will work closely with leading scientists in the Agriculture and Food, Health and Biosecurity (Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness) and Data61 machine learning and data analytics business units, as well as world-leading external collaborators, to develop novel Machine Learning (ML) methodologies and algorithms with which to analyse Weather Radar (WR) data for pest insect movement activity relevant to agricultural regions across the Asia-Pacific.  They will assess the ability of the algorithms to provide real-time analytics and timely alerts of migratory insect pest activity using WR data across the region, to underpin secure food systems.  

We welcome candidates with research interests and skills in MLAI and big data analytics, and/or expertise in radar data processing (e.g. experience in target tracking and classification in applications such as aeronautics, robotics or the military). The CERC Fellow will work within national and international settings and as part of a diverse research team, with the opportunity to explore innovative solutions to forecast and manage pest outbreaks.


Your duties will include:

  • Developing novel ML algorithms to identify real-time biotic threats to agriculture from insect pests in the Asia-Pacific region using WR data.
  • Applying the research to case studies and scientific research questions of value to understanding, forecasting and managing pest outbreaks across the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Developing an impact pathway though engagement with national and international collaborators and organisations.
  • Carrying out innovative, impactful research of strategic importance to CSIRO that will, where possible, lead to novel and important scientific outcomes including publications in relevant scientific venues such as high-level journals and conferences.
  • Interpreting and presenting research findings to a wide range of scientists and practitioners including from other fields.


Location: Brisbane, Queensland

Salary: AU$89k - AU$98k plus up to 15.4% superannuation

Tenure: Specified term of 3 years

Reference: 84745

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as Computer Science (MLAI), Physics, Aeronautics or Radar Aeroecology. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (full-time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and practical experience in radar data processing or comparable ‘big data’ analytics and statistics.
  • High level written and oral communication skills with the ability to represent the research team effectively internally and externally, including the presentation of research outcomes at national and international conferences.
  • A sound history of publication in peer reviewed journals and/or authorship of scientific papers, reports, grant applications or patents.


For full details about this role please view the Position Description


CSIRO is an Equal Opportunity employer working hard to recruit world-class talent that represents the diversity across our society. As part of our commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment outcomes, preference will be given to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates who meet the role criteria.


Appointment to this role is subject to provision of a national police check and may be subject to other security/medical/character requirements.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. 

Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit people representing the diversity across our society, and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish. 


At CSIRO Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. We put the safety and wellbeing of our people above all else and earn trust everywhere because we only deal in facts. We collaborate widely and generously and deliver solutions with real impact. 

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

How to Apply

Please apply on-line and provide a cover letter and CV that best demonstrate your motivation and ability to meet the requirements of this role.

Applications Close

14 July 2022, 11:00pm AEST

We’re working hard to build a safe and welcoming culture where people can bring their whole selves to work. Valuing and enabling difference empowers our people, unlocking their potential to innovate and shape the future for our customers, all Australians and the world. We do the extraordinary every day. We innovate for tomorrow and help improve today. We're the people that stay awake solving the world’s big questions. This is true of our science and of our people. Our mission is to create benefit for Australia through impactful science and innovation but we know that that's not possible without an inclusive and diverse culture. We're working hard to recruit diverse people and ensure all our people feel supported to do their best work and empowered to let their ideas flourish.

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