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Biodiversity PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 55 Biodiversity PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships



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We have 55 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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Evaluating the potential consequences of climate heating for Caspian seals and ecosystem services in the Caspian Sea

Marine mammals are keystone species for marine ecosystems. Understanding how they could be impacted by climate heating is important for evaluating risks to marine biodiversity, ecosystem function and ecosystem services. Read more

Advancing antisolvent membrane crystallisation to accelerate development of long-acting injectable drugs PhD

Reverse anti-solvent membrane crystallisation can produce the submicron sized drug particles required for long-acting injectable formulations through the unparalleled control of solvent mixing that is both precise and scalable. Read more

A complex systems approach to understanding the evolution of animal mating systems

Understanding the drivers of diverse animal mating systems remains a key challenge in evolutionary biology. In particular, monogyny, where males mate with a single female during their lifetime, remains an evolutionary puzzle because male animals typically maximise reproductive success by mating with multiple females. Read more

Honing our Understanding of MIcrobial Diversity in tropical peatlands (HUMID)

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a full-time PhD in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES) to complete a PhD on ‘Honing our Understanding of MIcrobial Diversity in tropical peatlands’ (HUMID). Read more

Quantifying and managing multi-taxon range shifts in marine reef ecosystems

This PhD project will employ cutting-edge modelling and unique marine datasets to model range shifts of marine species under climate change and develop novel conservation mechanisms to manage them. Read more

Microbial and MEtabolite-based indicators for Soil Health (MMeSH).

An exciting opportunity for two PhD candidates to join a multidisciplinary international team led by Atlantic Technological University, Sligo to conduct research in the area of soil health, metabolomics and metagenomics. Read more

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