Biosciences: Fully-funded PhD Studentship: Trade-offs between Multiple Ecosystem Services in UK and US Salt Marshes

Swansea University


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Award info

  • Award values:
  • Bursary :£13863 for 3 years

    Fees coverage : 100% coverage for 3 years

  • Application deadline:
  • 06-Jan-15*
    *This is the last application deadline supplied by the provider for this award, we are currently working on updating this information.
  • Award type:
    • Academic excellence
  • Award coverage:
  • Stipend, Tuition fees
  • Award level:
  • Career based / vocational
  • Subject area:
  • Sciences: Pure and Applied
  • Number of awards:
  • 1
Application info

  • Nationality:
  • EU
  • Gender:
  • Both
  • Eligibility requirement:
  • Academic requirements: Candidates must have at least an upper second class honours degree, or a master's degree, in a relevant discipline. Residency criteria: This studentship is open to UK/EU students only.
  • Application details:
  • Key Information Swansea University's College of Science invites applications for a 3-year fully-funded PhD studentship. Project Supervisors: Dr John Griffin, Dr Mike Fowler and Prof. Stefan Doerr (all Swansea University), Dr Nicola Beaumont (Plymouth Marine Laboratory) and Dr Martin Skov (Bangor University). Project collaborators: Dr Lily Pauls (Natural Resources Wales, NRW); Mr Blaise Bullimore (Carmarthen Bay and Estuaries Relevant Authorities Group); Prof. Steve Pennings (University of Houston, Texas; Director, Georgia Coastal Ecosystems Long Term Ecological Research Site). Project description: We are looking for an enthusiastic, highly motivated student interested in pushing boundaries in an exciting and important area of Applied Ecology. This ambitious PhD project will use salt marshes as a focal system to investigate how anthropogenic changes to ecological communities affect multiple ecosystem services. Salt marshes are extensive intertidal grasslands, intersected with networks of tidal creeks, and host to overlapping marine and terrestrial communities. They provide many ecosystem services, including globally-significant carbon storage, and protection for coastlines. They also provide land for grazing livestock, but at high intensity this activity may shift the state and structure of salt marsh communities, potentially affecting the provision of other ecosystem services. This project will specifically examine the impacts of livestock grazing on the structure of ecological communities and the provisioning of salt marsh ecosystem services. The successful applicant will use large-scale field observations and manipulative experiments to link livestock grazing pressure, community attributes and ecosystem services. These data will be analysed using both general statistical models and spatially-explicit GIS-based models, facilitating application to ecosystem management. The student will conduct research in local (south Wales) and eastern US (North Carolina and Georgia) salt marshes to explore generality. The studentship will be based in the Department of Biosciences at Swansea University, UK; a vibrant, growing, research led institution providing a high quality, diverse range of graduate training. The student will benefit from the complementary expertise of supervisors Dr John Griffin (empirical approaches), Dr Mike Fowler (ecological modelling), Prof. Stefan Doerr (ecosystem carbon dynamics) and Dr Nicola Beaumont (environmental economics). Collaborators, Dr Lily Pauls and Mr Blaise Bullimore (environmental managers), Prof. Steve Pennings and Prof. Brian Silliman (leading US ecologists), will help develop multidisciplinary skills in field ecology, ecosystem service quantification, and statistical modelling. The project and training will have a significant international component, with two or more fieldtrips to the USA planned and attendance at international conferences encouraged.