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ACCE DTP Studentship - Beyond the brink: revolutionising monitoring to safeguard biodiversity
University of Sheffield + ZSL + UKCEH
Our planet is changing. Rapid shifts in our climate and habitat are pushing biodiversity towards the brink of extinction. To avert this biodiversity crisis, we need to understand where biodiversity is under threat, what species are most vulnerable, and identify the key drivers of this biodiversity change - insights critical to managing our landscapes and bending the biodiversity curve.

To provide these insights, we need to design elegant approaches to wrangle the complexity of biodiversity change. Ecological lags represent one such source of complexity, where we may expect a delay between an impact (e.g. habitat loss) and a population response (e.g. extinction). Understanding this lag is critical to modern biodiversity science and policy, as the full effects of past and current environmental change may only be witnessed in future decades i.e. biodiversity declines may already be ‘locked-in’.

In this PhD, you will work closely with your supervisory team and partners in the Living Planet team at ZSL to design and implement the next generation of biodiversity monitoring models. Models capable of unravelling the complexity of change and delivering practical insight on the fate of biodiversity. This project would suit candidates with an interest in biodiversity, quantitative ecology or mathematics, and has the potential to deliver real-world impact and policy change. You will have the following objectives: 1) Assess how species traits and demography impact population dynamics; 2) Use cutting-edge analytics to quantify lags across a diverse array of species and drivers of environmental change; 3) Predict how lags in population responses impact inference about global biodiversity trends.
Quadrat DTP Studentship on the structure of food webs and the ecosystem wide impacts of eutrophication in Lough Neagh
Queen’s University Belfast
Food web structure and the ecosystem wide impacts of eutrophication in the UK’s largest freshwater lake, Lough Neagh.

Lough Neagh is the largest freshwater lake in Britain and Ireland spanning 392 km2. The Lough is economically and ecologically important supplying 40% of Northern Ireland’s drinking water, it is designated for its wildfowl and fish populations, it is Europe’s largest commercial eel fishery, and supports livelihoods in the recreation and tourism sectors vital to the rural economy. There has been a succession of lake-wide cyanobacterial (blue-green algal) blooms in the lake through summer and autumn of 2023. The severity and scale of this bloom are unprecedented in British or Irish freshwaters. Proximal causes are diffuse and include nutrient loading from agricultural runoff and sewage effluent (wastewater) treatment works exacerbated by record-breaking rainfall in July 2023, climate change increasing water temperatures, invasion by non-native zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) affecting the relative abundance and composition of the phytoplankton community, and a lack of regional devolved government to management solutions. Whilst bird and fish mortalities have occurred, the wider ecosystem impacts on the lake community remain unknown. With climate change, it is anticipated that such blooms will increase in frequency and magnitude of impact. Whilst the fish, benthic invertebrates, zoo- and phytoplankton communities of Lough Neagh have been described seperately, an integrated description of the trophic structure of the Lough is lacking.

In this PhD project, you will quantify food web structure taking a trivariate food web approach quantifying body mass, abundance and food web structure, and will quantify the drivers of change in food web structure spatially around Lough Neagh.
Fully funded PhD: laser scanning for carbon and biodiversity dynamics
University of Cambridge
Fully funded PhD on laser scanning (TLS, UAV-LS, ALS) to study carbon and biodiversity dynamics in regenerating uplands in the UK working with Dr Emily Lines in the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge.

Like lasers⚡️ trees🌳 biodiversity🐞 and fieldwork? Come and join us at the NERC Centre for Landscape Regeneration. Studentship will cover tuition fee at UK home rate, standard UKRI stipend and generous research funds. Deadline 9th January.
Fully funded agroecology PhD: Sainfoin as an alternative legume for livestock health, biodiversity, and reduced GHG emissions.
Harper Adams University
Sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) is a perennial forage legume. Like other legumes, Sainfoin can offer soil benefits due to its nitrogen fixing properties. As well as providing protein, Sainfoin contains tannins which are thought to a) reduce the amount of methane provided by ruminants, and b) reduce bloating. Potential additional benefits of Sainfoin are drought resistance and ability to grow on poor soils, which may be a good choice for regenerative agriculture systems.

Sainfoin is a good plant for encouraging pollinators. It has been shown to disrupt the lifecycle of parasitic worms in Europe.

Preliminary work at Harper Adams indicates that sainfoin will establish well under a variety of soil types and may have the potential to be more widely used in forage than previously thought.

The aim of this PhD is to investigate the potential of Sainfoin to support diversification of forage legumes for improved animal health and to support environmental sustainability.

The key objectives are to:

a) Investigate the opportunities and limitations for expansion of Sainfoin into forage systems in the UK.

b) Investigate how best to utilise Sainfoin within ruminant diets to improve weight gain and reduce emissions intensity.

c) Compare the potential costs and environmental benefits of Sainfoin with other forage crops

d) Make recommendations to the farming community for the use of Sainfoin within forage, and the potential benefits

We anticipate findings from this research will inform farmers/policy makers considering diversification of their forage to: establish mixed species into existing lays to reduce fertiliser use or improve drought resilience; improve forage quality; reduce methane emissions; move to more resilient/regenerative systems.

Glasshouse and field experiments to investigate establishment factors
Proximate analyses to determine feeding values
Dietary formulation modelling
Desk review/expert elicitation
Cost/benefit analysis.
Farmer engagement
Fully funded agroecology PhD: Waste wool as a soil amendment to improve agricultural productivity and resilience
Harper Adams University
Increases in frequency and severity of extreme weather events such as drought and waterlogging adversely affect agricultural productivity. Regenerative agriculture or agroecological practices are being encouraged to deal with some of these issues. Reducing or re-using waste products in agricultural systems may help support these approaches.

Over 1 million tonnes of wool are produced globally each year, of which up to 30% is wasted during sorting and processing. Use as a soil amendment may offer an alternative for waste wool. Previous studies have indicated that wool-amended soils have higher nutrient and water holding capacity than controls1. Also, wool dust in soil can delay the onset of drought conditions by up to 3 days2.

Existing research is limited in productive systems. Pilot studies at Harper Adams University indicated that wool may help reduce the impacts of water stress on crop yield, but the mechanisms are unknown.

To investigate the potential of waste wool as a soil/substrate amendment to improve water and nutrient use efficiency of agricultural plants.

Conduct an evidence review to establish the optimal integration of wool into substrates, and quantify and test the findings

Develop methods to evaluate the potential of wool as a soil amendment.

Develop methods to quantify the impact of water stress on the plant physiology/performance in different growing substrates.

Evaluate the interactions between wool, substrates, water conditions, and their combined impacts on plant physiology and productivity

Compare potential costs/benefits of utilising wool as an amendment within commercial production systems and evaluate how to utilise wool and/or other natural waste products within plant growing systems

Make recommendations to the farming community for the use of wool with substrates

Systematic review
Laboratory work
Glasshouse/polytunnel and field experiments
Cost/benefit analysis.
Farmer engagement activities
Fully funded PhD: Combining agroecology with technology. Strip cropping, autonomous vehicles and regenerative agriculture.
Harper Adams University
One way to help achieve sustainable intensification of agriculture is to improve resilience of crops to biotic and abiotic stresses such as pest outbreaks and weather extremes. Monocultures can be vulnerable to extreme shocks as all individuals are at similar risk from weather, disease, pests and weeds. Crop diversification can build resilience in agricultural systems.

Strip intercropping introduces spatial and genetic diversity, disrupts the lifecycles of weeds, pests and diseases, and increases resilience. Relay crops also benefit from temporal complementarity in their use of resources (light, water and nutrients). Relay cropping also avoids having the whole field bare at the same time, achieving two principles of Regenerative Agriculture – living roots in the soil for much of year, and cover of the soil.

Narrow strips (1 to 2m) may provide greater benefits, as a higher proportion of plants are in edge rows, but conventional farm machinery imposes a minimum strip width of 4m. Autonomous vehicles such as small robots offer a solution, eg several working as a swarm to replace one larger manned vehicle.

Aim: Investigate the potential of narrow strip cropping for improving the agronomic and environmental aspects of crop production systems.

Investigate: a) impact of strip cropping on resource use (e.g. light, nutrients, water) by crops. b) agronomic impacts of strip cropping on weed, pest and disease control, and soil health within arable systems.
Evaluate the overall plant productivity impacts of strip cropping, and the associated effect on yield and on land equivalent ratio (LER).
Evaluate the potential of strip cropping to deliver temporal complementarity.
Make recommendations for practice, policy and research on the future potential for strip cropping.

Systematic review
Field experiments
Measurement of crop yields
Invertebrate sampling
Non-crop plant sampling,
Soil testing
Cost/benefit analysis
Expert elicitation & farmer engagement
QUADRAT PhD - Bridging invasive species with evolutionary theory: unleashing the potential of species traits to predict the impacts of biological invasions
Queen’s University Belfast
Biological invasions are responsible for biodiversity loss, degradation of social well-being, and multi-trillion dollar impacts globally, representing one of the dominant obstacles for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. Despite significant scientific progress in the quantification of biological invasion impacts, a systematic research program to quantitatively predict the economic (and associated) costs of biological invasions has remained an unreachable endeavour. This interdisciplinary project will combine evolutionary theory, invasion biology, environmental economics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to both quantify and forecast the magnitude, location (i.e., the identification of cost “hotspots”), and duration of biological invasion economic impacts. This will inform targeted actions to anticipate and mitigate the economic, social and environmental damage caused by invasive species worldwide.

VISION AND SCIENTIFIC APPROACH. This project will identify species traits which are predictive of impacts of biological invasions globally, helping to prioritise management towards the most damaging current and future invasive species. It aims to move the field from the traditionally reactive approach (actions once impacts are identified) into proactive management with the capacity to forecast before irreversible tipping points are reached. On this basis, the PhD project aims to: (i) decipher relationships between previously evolved traits (i.e., pre-invasion) and economic impacts of invasive species; (ii) develop novel intraspecific trait data (e.g., from tens of thousands of museum specimens), to quantify how post-invasion trait changes (that can rapidly occur within an invaded environment) relate to economic impacts, since invasive species can rapidly adapt to the invaded environment, leading to novel effects with devastating socio-economic impacts; and (iii) relate economic impacts to ecological impact metrics.
PhD: The evolution of ecosystem function
Imperial College London
As climate change and the sixth mass extinction gather pace, the importance of biodiversity and nature-based solutions for society is clear. The benefits that nature provides for us, such as carbon capture, supporting food production, and the filtration and cleaning of water and air, are the key to building a sustainable global economy.

Our recent work has produced the world's largest database of how changes in biodiversity affect the delivery of these benefits, with > 220,000 direct measurements of biodiversity and services.

This PhD will incorporate evolutionary information into this database in order to form an understanding of how ecosystem services have evolved. This information will be used to predict how ecosystem function will change in under-studied parts of the world, on the basis of known evolutionary relationships between species.

To do this, the student will make use of existing software and statistical tools, such as Phylogenetic Generalised Linear Mixed Models. This work will be carried out in collaboration with Hitachi, who are CASE partners in this work. The student will also have the opportunity to direct data collection carried out by a team of MSc students and paid research assistants, to allow them to focus on data analysis and methods development.

Email a copy of your CV and a brief (one paragraph maximum) description of why you are interested in this project to Will Pearse (
PhD: Improving biodiversity forecasting using evolutionary history
Imperial College London
After decades of research and action, we are finally at the point where the global community is committing to action to conserve and restore biodiversity! But with this success comes another challenge: how can we provide policy-makers with the tools to monitor changes in biodiversity in response to activities?

This PhD will use existing databases on species’ evolutionary history and functional traits to build forecast models of biodiversity responses to land-use and climate change. To do this, the student will make use of existing software and statistical tools, such as Phylogenetic Generalised Linear Mixed Models.

The student will form part of a diverse team, including members from Oxford University and Bristol University, funded through a community-building project from the Alan Turing Institute. The student will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with these researchers to use so-called ‘probabilistic programming techniques’ to address challenges in biodiversity research (which this PhD focuses on), but also to share ideas and collaborate on problems in disease and spatial modelling. The student will have the opportunity to engage with the data scientists at the Alan Turing, and also take part in the annual ‘forecasting challenges’ run by the team to engage and support policy-makers.

Email a copy of your CV and a brief (one paragraph maximum) description of why you are interested in this project to Will Pearse (
Seasonal botanists/habitat mappers
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Ecological surveyors required from April 2024 for 6 months to record plants and habitats, and take soil samples from sites across Northern Ireland. Feel free to come and see us for a chat on stand 13!
9 PhD positions in Germany in the field of forest biodiversity ecosystem functioning research (TreeDì / BEF-China). Starting date: 01 June 2024
Universities of Dresden, Lüneburg, Göttingen, Halle, Jena
The International Research Training Group "TreeDì - Tree Diversity Interactions: The role of tree-tree interactions in local neighbourhoods in Chinese subtropical forests" (GRK 2324) will soon start to invite applications for 9 PhD positions.
The aim of TreeDì is to understand how tree-tree interactions in local neighbourhoods of varying diversity translate into observed tree species richness effects on key ecosystem functions at the community scale. In addition, TreeDì seeks to understand the role of the forest understorey for ecosystem functioning. All research projects are carried out on the BEF-China platform in subtropical China - the largest forest BEF experiment worldwide (
By bringing together experts and doctoral researchers from leading research institutions located in Germany and China, TreeDì creates a stimulating network of excellence. TreeDì features an international qualification programme involving an intensive Chinese-German cultural exchange during a 6-month research visit in the partners’ countries, a joint PhD advisory committee composed of Chinese and German experts, and unique offers to meet, study and discuss with figureheads in biodiversity research.
Spatial aboveground complementarity (Prof. Goddert von Oheimb)
Complementarity through trait variation (Prof. Sylvia Haider)
Diversity signals in tree interaction history (Prof. Christian Wirth)
Bottom-up and top-down drivers of herbivory (Prof. Andreas Schuldt)
Drivers of fungal endophyte richness (Prof. Helge Bruelheide)
Rhizosphere and root microbes (Dr. Tesfaye Wubet)
Functional diversity of soil organisms (Dr. Simone Cesarz)
Modelling generalized diversity interactions (Prof. Uli Brose)
See our website for further information ( The application deadline is January 3rd 2024. The start of employment will be June 1st, 2024. Applications should be submitted via
Postdoctoral researcher in Iceland
Agricultural University of Iceland
We are looking for a highly motivated and skilled postdoctoral researcher to join the project The Nordic Borealization Network (NordBorN; funded by NordForsk’s University Cooperation call.
Deadline for applications is December 8, 2023.
For more details please contact Isabel C Barrio (
Defra research fellowships
DEFRA is recruiting multiple research fellowships covering a range of different topics across defra’s remit for up to a year. More info available from the link below
Postdoc at the University of Edinburgh
Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Edinburgh
*Posting on behalf of Dr Matthew Hartfield*

A postdoctoral research position is available in the lab group of Dr Matthew Hartfield, funded by a ERC Consolidator Grant/UKRI Frontier Research Grant (SelectSelf – Rethinking Evolution in Self-Fertilising Species). I am looking for an enthusiastic and motivated postdoctoral researcher who is interested in evolutionary genetics and mating-system evolution.

The focus of the project will be to:

1) Develop stochastic population-genetic models to determine the signatures of genetic adaptation in self-fertilising species, especially when proceeding via a multi-gene (polygenic) process.

2) Translate these models into inference methods to determine the nature of adaptive evolution from genome sequence data, with applications to a large dataset of several self-fertilising Caenorhabditis species.

There will also be scope for the postdoc to (i) consider how these processes are pertinent in response to anthropogenic changes; (ii) develop their own research plans with an view to becoming an independent investigator. The project will involve collaboration with partners within the UK and overseas. There are substantial funds within the grant for computing and conference attendance. The project will be funded for three years in the first instance, with a possibility for extension based on performance and financial availability.

Deadline for applications is the 24th January. Informal inquiries welcome. Apply here:

Postdoc Positions Available at Soil Ecology Lab, Lanzhou University in China
Lanzhou University
Several postdoctoral research positions are available in the lab group led by Dr. Manqiang Liu at Lanzhou University.

Our group aims to uncover the mechanisms underlying the formation and maintenance of soil biodiversity, analyze the structure and function of soil food webs, and assess the connections between soil biodiversity and soil health.

Additionally, we have openings for positions at the professor and associate professor levels. We offer attractive compensation and welcome you to join us!

Interested candidates are encouraged to visit our website for further information: To apply, please email a copy of your CV and a description of why you are interested in joining the group to the Manqiang Liu (PI) at or .
Link: None
postdoc position - tree ecophysiology
University of Kassel
2year postdoc position available from March 2024 (soon to be advertised) in the area of N uptake mechanisms of trees / litter degradation at the Ecological Plant Nutrition Group at the University of Kassel.
PM / email me if interested.
QUADRAT DTP: Animal behaviour in a changing world
Queen’s University Belfast
Global environmental changes such as climate warming and pollution are major threats to biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and wellbeing. However, the effects of these stressors are often considered in isolation, despite the potential for stressor interactions which mediate overall effects. Animal behaviour is the most flexible component of the phenotype and therefore presents a pervasive signal to rapidly detect environmental change effects which precede ecosystem-level impacts. Therefore, a firm understanding of behavioural responses to synergising environmental changes could enhance predictions of effects at multiple biological scales with appropriate model species.

Using the hermit crab, Pagurus bernhardus, the specific objectives are to:

Assess cognitive responses to multiple stressors, such as simultaneous warming and deoxygenation, across a gradient from conventional laboratory conditions towards realistic field enclosures on shorelines;
Examine contest outcomes under static and sinuous current and future temperature regimes using programmed temperature profiles which resemble heatwaves;
Compare population-level cognitive responses to environmental change between crabs from anthropogenically-impacted (e.g., marinas) and protected areas, while integrating historic field data to quantify relevant stressors and their background levels;
Determine whether behavioural signals (e.g., boldness) are reflected in consumptive effects, such as functional responses and resource preferences between carnivory and omnivory. Effects of other contexts such as higher predators (e.g., shore crabs) and gastropod shelter resource availability on trophic interaction strengths across ecological networks under environmental change will be considered.

OnePlanet DTP: PhD - Grow or mow: managing urban grasslands for pollinator conservation and soil ecosystem services
Northumbria University, UK
This 3.5 year PhD is fully funded through the One Planet NERC DTP (Doctoral Training Partnership) and is open to UK and international applicants.
The project will explore the impacts of different urban greenspace management approaches on above and below ground ecology and ecosystem services including plant-pollinator interactions. Links between below and above ground ecology will be investigated, examining the impacts of soil quality and properties on pollinator visitation to flowers.
Deadline: 11th January 2024
For more information see:
Supervisory team: Dr Katherine Baldock, Dr Mark Goddard, Dr Miranda Prendergast-Miller (Northumbria University), Dr Elisa Lopez-Capel & Prof Yit Arn Teh (Newcastle University)
CASE partner: Urban Green Newcastle
Please get in touch if you'd like to discuss this PhD opportunity!
NERC QUADRAT DTP: Sleep in the lanscape of fear
Queen’s University Belfast
PhD project, fully funded and open to students worldwide.

Come and work with us to study how wild red deer alter their sleep in response to predation risk by wolves:

Link: None
NERC Quadrat DTP: fighting behaviour in fallow deer
Queen’s University Belfast
Do you like behavioural ecology in wild animals? Come and work with us to study fighting behaviour in fallow deer!

Fully funded PhD scholarship open to international students:
NERC CENTA. Going underground: above-below ground interactions for nature recovery in coastal sand dune wetlands
Loughborough University
Project highlights:
1. Novel research a UK wetland priority habitat which is a focus for conservation management.
2. Fantastic opportunity to shape the project to your interests but focusing on interactions between ecological processes above and below-ground.
3. Exciting work on internationally important long-term ecological experiments (50 years of data).

See the link for more information!
NERC CENTA PhD: Ecological time-lags across species, scales, and ecosystems
University of Birmingham
Join us at University of Birmingham for a project looking at how time-lags can affect conservation success. In collaboration with Kevin Watts at Forest Research.

* Work with a range of ecologists in academia and practice

* Generate new knowledge that is directly relevant to setting conservation milestones and targets

* Provide empirical evidence to support theoretical ecology work

Feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions/would like more information. Either on here or
8 PhD positions at York: Biodiversity Gains and resilience
University of York
Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity at the Univesity of York is offering 8 Fully funded PhD Studentships across a range of departments. You can apply to any of the positions listed below or propose your own project.

Subjects include:
-Plants in the Wrong Place? Weeds and weeding in Britain c.1500-c.1950
- Urban biodiversity and society in the Anthropocene - exploring attitudes, behaviours and consequences of urban rewilding
-Philanthropy for Biodiversity: A Critical Exploration of Drivers, Processes, and Impacts
-More or less: connecting biodiversity and complexity in multi-scale global trade models
-Spaceship Earth: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Cold War Ecology
-Comparing the relationship between inequality and biodiversity in croplands with weak and strong sustainability
-Biodiversity gains in churchyards as a microcosm for UK biodiversity gains
-The historic emergence of human-associated woodland biodiversity and its recent demise
-Urban gardens to improve health, biodiversity and climate-change resilience in cities in Bangladesh

Please feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions/would like more information. Either on here or send a message to
Funded PhD: Increasing the value of silvoarable agroforestry using understory crops in the tree rows
University of Reading
Agroforestry has huge potential to address the climate and biodiversity crises. Here, you can help its expansion by testing the ecological and production impacts of integrating understory crops into the tree rows. Full details in link.

Project is co-funded by DEFRA and includes six-week placement with them. Results will feed directly into emerging agroforestry policy in the UK.
CENTA PhD: Marine biodiversity and it's future under environmental changes and exploitation
University of Birmingham
PhD project estimating the diversity and future distribution of exploited marine bivalves (oysters, scallops, and many more).

You will:

-Join an international, interdisciplinary team of scientists to develop predictive models of marine biodiversity;

-Train for highly transferable skills including data science, quantitative modelling and programming;

-Conduct impactful research that will contribute to policy making.

Feel free to message me with any questions or if you'd like to chat about the project.
PhD opportunity Geo Profiling
Queen's University Belfast
We are looking for someone with math skills and a strong desire to help conservation to develop Geo Profiling, a method developed in criminology, to identify breeding sites from opportunistic data for red kites, barn owls, bumblebees, and pine martens. The project will be in tight collaboration with Ulster Wildlife, the Raptor Study Group NI, and other conservation NGOs in Scotland and England. Supervisors will be Dr Paul Caplat and Dr Lorraine Scott @QUB and Prof Xavier Lambin and Dr Deon Roos @UoAberdeen. Paul Caplat's former PhD successfully used Geo Profiling for kestrel, and the candidate will also benefit from a collaboration with Dr Sally Faulkner, one of the first researchers to apply the method in ecology.
Project support officer
UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Please see link
NERC Panorama DTP - PhD opportunity in Applied ecology/Paleoenvironments
University of Hull
Rooting the Northern Forest: soil and woodland dynamics across northern England

The PhD student will use modern datasets of soil condition and land cover to validate a functional traits from pollen assemblages reconstruction approach in northern England. They will then collate extensive existing pollen record data across the Northern Forest region, and use them to generate a spatially explicit reconstruction of the dynamics of land cover and soil properties across the region over time.  Comparison with PMIP model run palaeoclimate data and archaeological data bases will offer insights into controls on the observed dynamics, and exploring the amount and direction of soil change since deforestation across the varied landscape will be used to develop general recommendations for how to use present and past woodland data to plan for future woodlands most effectively – e.g. should present day soil be the only basis, or can surviving woodland fragments or reconstructions of woodland before humans cleared it give additional valuable information?
PhD opportunity: Occupancy and density of the badger (Meles meles) in Britain
Durham University
Competition-funded PhD with the IAPETUS DTP, based at Durham University, UK. Work with the Badger Trust and MammalWeb to vastly increase our knowledge of the current status and ecology of badgers across the UK. UK applicants only.
postdoc in landscape ecology
Stockholm University
Project description
The project focuses on how how rapidly and to what extent plant communities change depends surrounding landscape composition and habitat change over time. It is a cross-disciplinary project between community ecology and geography. The long-term goal is to understand how we avoid local species extinction where there are time lags because of historical landscape change and other global drivers.

Main responsibilities
This postdoc project will focus on identifying how surrounding landscape composition and historical management influence rates of plant community change and occurrence, today and in the future. By using an unique re-survey data set from the UK it is possible to explore and systematically test hypotheses about how landscapes over time influence plant community change. Historical maps and aerial photographs will be used to determine habitat patterns and change in specific geographical location to investigate the possibility for developing methods to quantify ecologically important aspects of landscape history. The postdoc will work within the team of ECSTATIC project with collaboration with CEH in Lancaster university in the UK. The succesful candidate will lead scientific publications within the team.
Check out Adam Kimberley and Simon Smart talks
PhD: Climate impacts on Arctic plant-pollinator networks: a population trait-based framework (Imperial College London)
Imperial College London
Supervisor: Dr Richard Gill
Deadline 8th January (12:00 BST).
A NERC SSCP funded project.
For specific project details, eligibility, and application information please see:

PhD: Fungal disease risks under landscape homogenisation: tracking fungal transmission across plant-pollinator networks using contemporary and historic museum specimens (Imperial College London)
Imperial College London
Supervisor: Dr Richard Gill
Deadline 15th January.
A Leverhulme Centre for the Holobiont funded project.
For specific project details, eligibility, and application information please see:
PhDs: Mosquito ecology and control
Queen’s University Belfast
Two projects are available through QUADRAT and NorthWestBio DTP:
Link: None
Post-doc: Uk Vector-Borne Disease (VBD) Hub
Imperial College London
We are seeking a Research Associate eager to play a key role in establishing the Defra-UKRI One Health VBD Hub. This post is funded by Defra and the BBSRC for up to 34 months.

The Hub has been funded to support and coordinate the UK's response to the escalating threat posed by vector-borne diseases (VBDs). This project team brings together experts in the transmission and control of human and animal VBDs, data sharing, and forecasting of complex systems to establish a Hub which will enhance the links between data collection, analysis, and policy making. A key component of the Hub project will be creating tools for visualising VBD data, pulling together data from multiple repositories, and linking those data appropriately with environmental datasets.

You will benefit from access to an impressive set of advisors (both formal and informal) and many opportunities for networking across academic, industry, and government sectors. As part of the post, the project team will create a personalised development plan for you, to support your development as an independent researcher. This will include opportunities for training in both “soft” (networking, communication, and interviewing) as well as “hard” (data management, bias reduction, and data homogenization) skills.
CoastClim PhD coastal food web ecology and carbon cycling
University of Helsinki
PhD position in coastal food web ecology and carbon cycling.

The PhD position is part of the Centre for Coastal Ecosystem and Climate Change Research (CoastClim; at Tvärminne Zoological Station at University of Helsinki. CoastClim explores the potential of coastal ecosystems as natural solutions to mitigate climate change by quantifying biodiversity and its role for carbon cycling and climate feedbacks.

The overarching aim of this PhD project is to predict the fate of carbon in coastal Baltic Sea ecosystems, using a food web approach. Trophic interactions inter-link the ecosystem from the bottom to the top and are central for the flow of carbon, and therefore food webs are central for understanding the fate of carbon in the ecosystem. This is important because the coastal ecosystems can function as carbon sinks, mitigating climate change effects, but they are faced with multiple threats such as rising temperatures, eutrophication, invasive species, and degradation of foundation species (macrophytes). These pressures may disrupt species interactions and ecosystem functioning.

For further information and to apply, please contact Dr. Susanne Kortsch,
Closing date: 31 January 2024
Two 5 Yr Postdoc/researcher in fish/fisheries in Baltic Sea
University of Stockholm
The Baltic Sea Centre at Stockholm University is recruiting two researchers focusing on fish and fisheries in the Baltic Sea. Both positions are for five years.

The project aims to promote and support the development of current fisheries management in a more sustainable direction, with increased focus on rebuilding and long-term sustainable management of Baltic Sea fish stocks. The positions involve conducting research with a specific focus on the ecosystem-based fisheries management of the Baltic Sea. The researchers’ role is to gather and assess existing scientific knowledge to support and critically review decision-making processes and to participate in communication.

For more information, please contact Director Tina Elfwing, or Professor Christoph Humborg,

Closing date: 14 January 2024
Ecology PhD with FunkyAnt lab
University of Liverpool
PhD on what shapes insect communities in savanna ecosystems. Fieldwork in South Africa linked to new large-scale field experiments examining role of consumers in savanna ecology. Message me for more information!
ARIES DTP: Integrating modern and long-term ecology to inform UK peatland fire management in a changing climate
University of Plymouth
Scientific background

Climate change is increasing wildfire risk globally. In the UK, peatland wildfires have been frequent and severe in recent years (1). Peatlands are important carbon-rich biodiverse ecosystems and wildfire can severely damage these ecosystems with significant environmental impacts (2). Fire has played an important role in shaping landscapes historically (3), but uncontrolled fires lead to loss of ecosystem function and reduced peatland carbon storage capacity (2). This research aims to inform future peatland fire management strategies and improve understanding of carbon loss following fire events. Information about recent and long-term past (palaeo) ecological trends (4) in response to fire, climate and vegetation change will be integrated with modern ecological research.

Research methodology

The research will be based within two National Parks (Peak District and Dartmoor) facing current and future wildfire challenges. This project will use palaeo-environmental indicators to investigate the relationships between vegetation (fossil pollen analysis (4)), fire activity (micro-charcoal analysis), climate, and carbon accumulation over centennial to millennial timescales to understand long-term patterns of change that lead to greater ecosystem resilience to fire (3). Remote-sensing maps will be used to evaluate patterns of peatland disturbance, vegetation loss and post-disturbance recovery. Fire modelling techniques (5) will be used to predict biomass and burned areas under different climate and fire frequency scenarios integrating past and modern ecological data. Post-fire carbon exchange will be evaluated through measuring CO2 flux in areas where wildfires have previously taken place. Spatial analysis and mapping techniques will be used to generate outputs with ArcGIS Online.

Closing date: 10 Jan 2024
ARIES DTP: Regenerative agriculture on lowland peat; an oxymoron?
University of Plymouth

Sustainably intensifying agricultural production and meeting UK targets for net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions requires a detailed understanding of GHG sources and sinks. In the UK, drainage of lowland peatlands (waterlogged, high carbon soils) to sustain highly productive agriculture is important for UK food security, but drying peatland causes peat degradation. While intact peatlands are long-term carbon stores they also emit GHGs. Drained peatlands, for different reasons are also GHG sources (Evans et al., 2022). This project aims to unravel the complex trade-offs linked to peatland management and sustainable food production.

Research Methodology

To achieve this, you will quantify the influence of rapid transition to regenerative farming principles on exemplar high carbon peat soils (Cambridgeshire Fens) on soils properties, GHGs and yields. Using regenerative farming trials, led by G’s Fresh Ltd, as an experimental living lab, you will develop and apply novel tools to track change in soil biology, chemistry and physical states before, during and after transition. With specific attention to carbon, your research will provide important evidence to inform future adoption and debates on the role of regenerative methods to leverage green financing (Keenor et al., 2021).

Closing date: 10 Jan 2024
PhD opportunity: Eco-evo dynamics of ranavirus infection in UK amphibian communities
University of Hull
NERC Panorama DTP PhD project
Supervisors: Rob Knell, Lori Handley and Trent Garner
Starting date Sept 2024
Deadline 5th Jan 2024

In the late 1980s members of the public in the UK began reporting unusual mass mortalities of common frogs (Rana temporaria). These were caused by a virus from the FV3 group of ranaviruses, and FV3 ranaviruses are now recognised as a significant threat to amphibians in the UK, especially to common frogs which have suffered substantial population declines in the UK because of infection with these viruses. There have been multiple introductions of these viruses to the UK, and increasing temperatures in the UK appear to be exacerbating disease while human activities continue to redistribute the virus. There are many important questions which need to be answered if we are to predict the future of the epidemic and manage it to achieve the best outcomes for Britain’s amphibians.
Science Writer & Editor
Wild Animal Initiaitive
Wild Animal Initiative is on the lookout for a Science Writer & Editor to join our team. If you’re a skilled writer/editor ready to transform complex science into impactful content, let’s connect! More details coming soon on our Careers page. Express your interest now by adding your info to our Talent Database:
#ScienceCommunication #Job #AnimalWelfare
Hiring various researcher roles in 2024
Wild Animal Initiative
Wild Animal Initiative will be hiring for various research roles in 2024.

If you are interested in exploring research questions on wild animal welfare to better under what the lives of wild animals are like in the wild, please get in touch.
More details coming soon on our Careers page.
Express your interest now by adding your info to our Talent Database:
#ScienceCommunication #Job #AnimalWelfare
Remote sensing position for forestry applications
Forest Research
Exciting remote sensing position open at Forest Research to work with Juan C. Suárez, Project Leader Remote Sensing Applications. The successful candidate will help in numerous projects with the processing and modelling of pointclouds for forestry applications. The role will involve working on projects using airborne LiDAR, Mobile Laserscanning and SfM using drones in areas of forest inventory, mapping habitats for herbivore populations and carbon sequestration.

Initially the contract will be at Pay Band 5 (between £27,779 to £30,168) with the possibility of becoming permanent.  The selected person will be based at NRS, although remote location can be negotiated.

Interested parties should contact Juan Suárez:
Exploring the ecology, functionality and biogeography of Amazonian soundscapes
Lancaster University, NERC Envision DTP
The world’s rainforests are incredible reservoirs of biodiversity, holding over 60% of the world’s animal species and 67% of all tree species. While this remarkable diversity makes them a biologist’s paradise, it also makes them very difficult to study, and there are many fundamental knowledge gaps about how these ecosystems function across time and space.

Ecoacoustics is a rapidly growing discipline within ecology, and holds much promise for improving our understanding of ecosystems. Automated recording units and advances in analysis techniques such as machine learning and acoustic indices have vastly expanded how sound can be used to understand ecosystems. It is now possible to record in multiple locations at once, acquiring terabytes of sound data throughout both the day and night. We are also on the cusp of exciting developments, recording sounds in the soils, improving our understanding of sounds made by invertebrates, and linking soundscapes to ecosystem functioning.

This project will combine new soil soundscape recordings and data collection with a huge library of sound and other ecological data collected over multiple NERC grants.  The fieldwork will take place in the Brazilian Amazon, benefitting from established field sites coordinated by the supervisory team and a placement at a host institution in the heart of the Amazon basin.

The work is organised across three complementary work packages that (1) advance the nascent field of soil ecoacoustics, linking soil soundscapes with the abundance and composition of soil-dwelling fauna; (2) explore how above and below ground soundscapes are associated with measures of forest functioning; and (3) examine how the biogeography of soundscape complexity is predicted by forest structural complexity and large-scale drivers of biodiversity (climate, etc).

Please see website for eligibility.
Biodiversity for woodland resilience: the long-term functional ecology of tree diversity
Bangor University, NERC Envision DTP
The benefits of biodiversity for forest resilience and delivery of many ecosystem services underpin “nature-based solutions”. However, there are major gaps in knowledge of the ecological mechanisms, leading to serious over-generalisation and weak evidence base for policy and management. Resilience of European woodlands is threatened by climate-change-linked escalation of catastrophic tree pathogens and pests. We recently found striking results that (i) diversity of neighbouring trees (lower proportion of conspecifics) can increase ash susceptibility to dieback disease, which challenges ecological theory; (ii) trajectory of tree-species composition in unmanaged semi-natural ancient woodland is rapidly diverging from site-environment predictions, through differential species’ performance mediated by invasive-species and disturbance impacts. To advance fundamental scientific knowledge and the evidence-base for management of resilient woodland ecosystems, this project will address 4 questions:

What is the relative effect on tree recruitment, growth and survival of species identity, functional traits or relative size/distance/crown-position of neighbouring trees?

How do these tree-neighbourhood effects interact with site environment and disturbance regime/pathogens/browsing?

How are these diversity effects influenced by the spatial scale of tree species mixing?

What is the relative importance of (i) small- and (ii) larger-scale ecological interactions and (iii) landscape-scale mixed-species portfolio, for a resilient woodland resource delivering both biodiversity conservation and climate-change mitigation?

We will use long-term-ecological-research sites and combine standard PSP re-measurement with high-tech, including TLS (lidar); leaf-level gas-exchange; digital-image analysis of mammal herbivory; modelling of tree-neighbourhood, disturbance and invasive-species impacts.

Please see webpage for eligibility & further details.
Open PhD position in plant ecology for a motivated student from Ukraine
Department of Botany and Zoology, Masaryk University
We are looking for an enthusiastic student to join our team in Brno, Czech Republic. We are investigating the ecology and functionality of hemiparasitic plants in the ecosystem. In meadows and pastures, hemiparasitic plants suppress dominant species and hence indirectly support subordinate species and thus the diversity of these grasslands. This function ascribes them an important role as “ecosystem engineers” in these systems. Most of hemiparasitic plants in grasslands are annuals, hence they require a certain level of disturbance to be able to germinate each year anew. In European grassland ecosystems, particularly traditional grazing enhances the abundance of such disturbed spots.

Research topic: Ecology of hemiparasitic plants in the context of grazing: effect of grazing disturbance on hemiparasites, effect of hemiparasites on diversity in grazed communities, and occurrence of hemiparasitic species in grazed communities throughout Europe.

The study will include exciting field data collection, as well as data analysis. Applicants should have basic knowledge of plant identification and data handling.

Supervisor: Jakub Těšitel – Vegetation Science Group, Department of Botany and Zoology, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic (

Requirements: Ukrainian citizenship; enthusiasm about plants, ecology, and science; communication skills in English; master’s degree (required at least by the start of the PhD study); experience in vegetation ecology and ecological data analysis welcome.

We offer a Ph.D. scholarship (15,000 CZK; not subject to taxation) plus a 50% work contract (~ 17,000 CZK brutto).

Please, submit your application, including a motivation letter and a copy of your master's diploma (or a statement on expected accomplishment of master studies) by e-mail to Jakub Těšitel ( by January 19, 2024, 12:00 CET.

Interviews with short-listed candidates: January 25, 2024.

Starting date: March-September 2024
Postdoc in Forest Resiliance
Bournemouth University
Seeking a highly motivated post-doctoral researcher with skills in statistics and modelling. Background in either applied statistics, ecological modelling, forestry, geography, or related disciplines are needed. Experience with ecosystem analyses and knowledge on vegetation dynamics, ecosystem services and forest ecosystem processes are desirable but not essential. Effective communication and writing skills, as well as ability to work as a part of multidisciplinary research group are required. In practice, success in the position requires excellent skills in analysing research data and good programming skills (e.g. R, Python). Ability to start in as soon as possible is also required.
PhD opportunity: Explaining and predicting the migration ecology of an intra-continental migratory bird
Durham University
In this innovative project – which combines animal tracking data and models of migratory behaviour – the student will use data on the migratory journeys of common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) from their Latvian breeding grounds to their wintering grounds in the British Isles to develop a modelling framework that simulates the behaviour of this intra-continental migratory species. Whilst this is primarily a modelling project, there will be opportunities for the student to carry out fieldwork at the study sites in Latvia.

Supervisors: Dr Christine Howard, Dr Martins Briedis, Dr Silke Bauer, Prof Stephen Willis, Prof Philip Stephens
Deadline: Friday, 12th January, 2024
Funding: Durham University

Please feel free to email for more info.
Iapetus 2 DTP: Combining fieldwork and modelling to understand the migration of the Pied Flycatcher
Durham University
The populations of many migratory songbirds are declining rapidly, but why? Climate change, land-use change, and overexploitation are all well-recognised threats to migratory animals, but with complex annual cycles, identifying the key threats is challenging.

By combining fieldwork with cutting edge technology and individual-based models of migratory behaviour – the student will track the migratory journeys and breeding ecology of Pied Flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca) to develop a modelling framework that simulates the relationship between the migratory behaviour and population dynamics of this long-distance migratory songbird. Vulnerable to impacts across the annual cycle, Pied Flycatchers provide an ideal system to develop and test models of migratory behaviour, whilst the development of this modelling framework will allow us to explore how climate change impacts individuals and drives population declines. Considering the scale of recent climate and land-use changes across the distributions of migratory songbirds, such models are urgently required.

Supervisors: Christine Howard, Malcolm Burgess, Richard Bevan, Steve Willis, Phil Stephens
Deadline: 5th January 2024
Funding: Competitive DTP

Please email for more info
PhD Mitigating the impacts of artificial light at night on biodiversity and attractiveness to disease carrying insects
Newcastle University
NERC ONE planet DTP. Deadline 11 Jan 2024
PhD Core microbiomes in agro-ecosystems: Unravelling the effects of 125 years manure and fertiliser treatments in grassland soils using network ecology
Newcastle University
BBSRC NLD DTP. Deadline 15 Jan 2024
full PhD scholarship
Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University
Project on the mechanisms underlying biodiversity ecosystem functioning using microalgae as model organisms in lab experiments.

-performing lab experiments with microalgae
-molecular lab work including DNA extraction and qPCR
-statistical analyses of the experimental data
-publication of the results

The laboratories of the department of Health and Environmental Sciences are equipped with modern laboratory devices and analytical instruments. For this project a custom made lab device will be available.

Be open to explore ecological questions by using lab experiments. You need to collaborate with the other members of the lab. In my team, we support each other and work together. It is good if you have already lab experience, but this is not a must if you are willing to learn handling of microalgae under sterile conditions.

XJTLU and Suzhou
XJTLU is a joint university of Xi’an Jiaotong University and the University of Liverpool. It is situated in Suzhou, an ancient city with a long history of academics and arts in east China. The university is situated in a new part of the city, Suzhou Industrial Park. With it’s 12.7 mio. habitants in 2020, Suzhou is a fusion of historical and modern districts, while modern architecture is represented by famous buildings like the “Gate of the Orient”.

The official advertisement can be found at the universities website ( under the reference PGRS2206030_Bastian_Steudel_School_of_Science.pdf.
Since May 2023 XJTLU is ranked in the top 1% of institutions at the Essential Science Indicator (ESI) for Environment/Ecology. Information about the department can be found at the official website (see below) or at connect (

or we can meet at the BES meeting in person... contact me via Whova
PhD Rewilding: cascading effects of reduced grazing on upland food webs
Newcastle University
NERC IAPETUS2. Deadline 11 Jan 2024
PhD Adaptive management strategies of amenity grassland for biodiversity and ecosystem services
Newcastle University
NCC/SNES joint studentship for immediate start!
Link: None
4 year PhD studentship for UK students
Brunel university London
Interested in science and policy? Read on-

The Public Policy unit of Brunel University (BPP) is partnering with the Open Innovation Team at Whitehall (OIT), to launch a novel and exciting new “Brunel Public Policy” PhD studentship opportunity.
Research Assistant at Oxford University
University of Oxford
Two year post April 2024-March 2026. Details will be posted in Jan but in brief this is a role to support a team working on combined field & lab approaches to understand evolutionary and ecological effects of phenological matching across scales largely focussed on Wytham Woods. Work would include (1) drone flying over woodlands, (2) fieldwork sampling trees and invertebrates, (3) lab work supporting genomic and experimental work, (4) possibly helping with bird life history and behavioural work. Part of a major grant awarded by ERC with 4 postdocs and 4 PhD students & extensive field assistance. Please contact Ben Sheldon with CV if interested. Post in Dept of Biology moving into brand new £200m building in Oct 2024
Link: None
PhD on oyster restoration
Glasgow University and Kilchoan Estate
Iapetus DTP CASE scholarship
PhD in floral scent evolution
University of Sheffield
Interested in how pollinators have shaped the amazing diversity of floral scent? We have a fully funded PhD studentship available, with lots of opportunities to combine whole organism approaches (bee behavior!) with mechanisms (metabolomics!).
PhD to investigate urban living walls
York University/University of Sheffield
Fully funded PhD studentship available to study urbam vertical "living walls" and the biodiversity they support.
PhD: Urban Forests of The Future
University of Leicester
Combine citizen science ecological monitoring data with remote sensing to quantify and model ecosystem service provision by Tiny Forests and investigate the benefit of adding ‘old wood’ features to young forests for biodiversity. The project will train the student in ecosystem service modelling, field experimental design, citizen science, and experience working in an environmental NGO.
PhD - Thriving Cities, Green Revival: Investigating the multifaceted effects of Miyawaki forests on urban ecology
University of Warwick
Assessing the effect of Tiny Forest on biogeochemical soil processes, air quality, microclimate, and nature connectedness. This interdisciplinary project will equip students with technical and soft skills key to tackling complex urban challenges, provide actionable recommendations and contribute to sustainable urban planning.
PhD - Small and Beautiful: Assessing the importance of Miyawaki ‘Tiny Forests’ for Urban Biodiversity
University of Birmingham
Use Tiny Forests, which are all 200m2, as a network of living labs to disentangle whether or not habitat size or habitat connectedness is more important for protecting biodiversity. Project results will be used to inform landscape managers and those working in nature conservation on how to use woodlands to support urban biodiversity.
PhD, Wool in the restoration of bare peat
University of Cumbria
This is a fully funded PhD at the University of Cumbria (Ambleside campus) in collaboration with the Environment Agency, Natural England, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Westmorland & Furness Council. The project will use field experimental plots in Cumbria, with development of novel X-Ray CT analysis to explore the structure and function of degraded and restored lowland and blanket peatlands to evaluate whether wool is an appropriate and safe material for restoration.
Aims of the Project:
1. Evaluate and quantify the structural controls and functional behaviour of bare peat and pristine peatland surfaces [Establish control data of expected peatland surface function];
2. Initiate and execute systematic field trials of different treatments using wool as a peatland surface mimic [comparisons of different methods of treating, spreading and enhancing wool in controlled, real-world settings];
3. Utilize novel methods of 3D X-ray imaging of samples to quantify structural properties of experimental treatments and functional behaviour [comparison of key structural and functional properties with pristine peat];
4. Examine floral and faunal responses to different treatments on peatland surfaces; [examine the impact of different bare peat treatments on floral and faunal populations];
5. Undertake cost-benefit analysis and scaling potential of selected wool applications for large scale peatland restoration in the UK and international settings [Evaluate the likely value in economic, biodiversity and carbon terms]
Link: None
Scenario Analyst
UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
You’ll be working with an enthusiastic team of researchers exploring the challenges of developing strategies to simultaneously mitigate climate change whilst adapting to its impacts through a co-creative process that works with 5 case studies with a range of real world challenges across a range of sectors and scales. 

You'll be working closely with case study stakeholders, social scientists and impact modellers to develop, quantify and qualitatively interpret strategies developed by stakeholders through co-creation workshops. In this role you’ll have contribute to parameterise models, contribute to workshop development and contribute to publications and deliverables that develop from the work. 

Your main responsibilities will include: 
-Working with an interdisciplinary, cross-institution team to co-create strategies for adaptation and mitigation of climate change that are robust in the context of both climatic and socio-economic change. 
-To develop outputs from co-creation workshops with social scientists, impact modellers and decision makers from 5 case studies at a range of scales including national, cross-border, sub-national and city-scale contexts. 
-To work with impact modellers to parameterise their model inputs so that they respond to the strategies developed and work with social scientists to represent strategies that cannot be parameterised within the models. 
- To work with workshop teams to interpret model outputs into workshop materials. 
- To contribute to the development of deliverables and publications that explore the robustness of strategies to socio-economic and climatic futures. 
- To contribute to the production of policy relevant take home messages from the research within the DISTENDER project. 
Woodland Trust - Senior Conservation Adviser for Trees
Woodland Trust
Are you passionate about preserving ancient and veteran trees? Do you have a wealth of experience in tree ecology and conservation management? Join us at the Woodland Trust as a Senior Conservation Adviser for Trees and play a pivotal role in shaping our evidence-based approach to safeguarding these vital natural assets.
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