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Biodiversity PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 139 Biodiversity PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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Biological Sciences

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We have 139 Biodiversity PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

A PhD in Biodiversity provides you with the opportunity to study an ecosystem in detail during a three-year project. Whether you’re working in a tropical rainforest, a city, or the ocean, you’ll be investigating the factors that have been influencing biodiversity or trying to develop ways of reducing the impact.

What’s it like to do a PhD in Biodiversity?

As a Biodiversity PhD student, you’re likely to spend time doing field work and collecting samples that you’ll later analyse in the laboratory. Depending on your exact project you’ll spend more or less time in the laboratory, but regardless, you’ll gain a range of skills and experience in your field.

Some typical research topics in Biodiversity include:

  • Impacts of mining/quarries on biodiversity
  • Conservation management plans
  • Developing artificial habitats to reduce the loss of biodiversity
  • The effect of climate change on biodiversity
  • Effectiveness of National Pollinator Strategy
  • The effects of deep-sea plastic on sea life (cross over with Marine Biology)

A general day will consist of surveying your ecosystem of interest and recording data or testing samples previously taken in the laboratory. You’ll also spend time chatting to your supervisor and colleagues about your methods and results and plan your next set of observations and experiments. At the end of your PhD, you’ll produce a thesis of around 60,000 words and have a viva exam to defend your work.

The majority of Biodiversity PhD programmes are advertised projects that come with full funding attached. While the project is pre-determined to a degree, you are responsible for choosing where to take the work along the way.

Proposing your own project in Biodiversity is uncommon, as you’ll have to find a supervisor with research interests that overlap with your project, they need to have the connections to send you to your ecosystem of study, and you must find funding to cover both PhD and bench fees.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Biodiversity PhD programmes involve a Masters in a subject directly related to Biology, with experience in Environmental Biology desirable, at Merit or Distinction level. If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need to show that you have the right level of language proficiency.

PhD in Biodiversity funding options

The Research Council responsible for funding Biodiversity PhDs in the UK is the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). They provide fully-funded studentships including a stipend for living costs, a consumables budget for bench fees and a tuition fee waiver. Students don’t apply directly to the BBSRC, you apply for advertised projects with this funding attached.

It’s uncommon for Biodiversity PhD students to be ‘self-funded’ due to the additional bench fees. However, if you were planning to fund yourself it might be achievable (depending on your project) through the UK government’s PhD loan and part-time work.

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Impact of environmental change on the dynamics of freshwater zooplankton and their parasites

Zooplankton are arguably the most important trophic group in lake ecosystems. Their grazing controls algal populations, including harmful or nuisance blooms and they themselves provide food for higher trophic levels such as larger invertebrates and fish. Read more

Understanding genetic mechanisms of complex traits to improve potato breeding

Cultivated potato (Solanum tuberosum) plays a crucial role in addressing world food security. With the need to feed a growing population under rapidly changing climatic conditions comes the need to develop better adapted potato varieties. Read more

An experimental approach to mitigating hippo human conflict

The common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) is one of a handful of extant African megaherbivore species. Unlike other megafauna, hippo are relatively underfunded and understudied. Read more

Radar aeroecology: monitoring birds, bats and bugs with radar

The planet is suffering from an ongoing biodiversity decline. Contemporary methods for the monitoring of biodiversity tend to be taxon-specific, often cannot be scaled with existing resources, and are not applied in a consistent manner across studies. Read more

Scottish Seagrass Soundscapes: acoustics as a tool to monitor their health, role and restoration

Summary. This project will compare the biodiversity of seagrass meadows across Scotland, using visual and acoustic-based methods, develop automatic ways to analyze long-term soundscape datasets and finally, determine how degradation and restoration affect the health of the soundscapes. Read more

Exploring a unique predator-prey relationship to uncover vulnerabilities in tuberculosis

Diseases caused by mycobacteria account for more deaths than any other infectious agent in the world. Sadly, rates of drug resistant infections are increasing, at a time where our diagnostic capacity has been hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

Evidence and impact of parasite spillover across pollinator communities

Lead supervisor. Dr Peter Graystock (p.graystock@imperial.ac.uk). Co-supervisors. Professor William Hughes, School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex; Professor Dave Goulson, School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex. Read more

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