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Biodiversity PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 34 Biodiversity PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships



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We have 34 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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Understanding the scaling of impacts of Natural Climate Solutions for people, nature, and the climate

Project. The world faces unprecedented threats to its climate and biodiversity, increasingly impacting people worldwide. In response, Natural Climate Solutions aim to restore, manage, and protect nature to tackle these challenges. Read more

Understanding the ecological and evolutionary effects of heatwaves in tropical species and ecological communities

Heatwaves are considered one of the most threatening processes for our plants and animal species as the Earth’s climate warms. There is much to understand about how our species and the ecological communities they form will change and adapt through heatwaves. Read more

Defining working reference states for UK Chalk Rivers in support of River and floodplain Restoration

The UK supports 85% of the global chalk streams. Chalk rivers and streams are highly diverse and novel freshwater ecosystems deriving most of their flow regime from carbonate rich groundwater. Read more
Last chance to apply

Mad, bad and dangerous: Multiple stressors in coastal ecosystems

  Research Group: Scottish Oceans Institute
Climate change research has often focussed on charismatic ecosystems and species, but it should be recognised that the powerhouse of ecosystem function rests with the microbial world. Read more
Last chance to apply

Multiple stressor effects on benthic microorganism structure and function

  Research Group: Scottish Oceans Institute
Background. Marine ecosystems are threatened by various human activities including increased nutrient loads, climate change and emerging pollutants. Read more

Evolution Education Trust PhD project: Complexity and convergence in arthropod evolution

The University of Bath is inviting applications for this funded PhD opportunity based at the. Milner Centre for Evolution. , a unique, cross-faculty research centre bridging biology, health and education. Read more

Evolution Education Trust PhD project: Selection and the impact of molecular variation on fitness

The University of Bath is inviting applications for this PhD opportunity supervised by. Dr Paula Kover. and. Dr Araxi Urrutia. at the Milner Centre for Evolution (Department of Life Sciences, University of Bath). 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

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