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We have 91 Ecology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships



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Ecology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 91 Ecology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

An Ecology PhD would give you the chance to study the relationships between organisms and their environment, through a model species, field work, or mathematical modelling. Whatever you study, from population ecology to how plants are affected by the soil ecosystem, you’ll be aiming to develop methods of reducing or mitigating any negative impacts environmental changes may be having.

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

Studying a PhD in Ecology, you’ll gain a variety of skills since Ecology draws on techniques from many subjects including Geology, Microbiology and Bioinformatics.

Some typical research topics in Ecology include:

  • Studying the effect of an environmental factor e.g. urbanisation is affecting a species
  • Developing models to estimate the impact of environmental changes to organisms
  • Investigating how the interaction between species has evolved
  • Population ecology, studying the dynamics of a population including interactions with environment, birth, death, and immigration rates
  • Developing methods of mitigating adverse effects of altering the environment on the species it contains
  • Focused study on a particular ecosystem and its species (overlap with Biodiversity)

In a general workday, you’ll be conducting field work and analysing previous data or if you’re project involves Bioinformatics, you’ll be writing programmes and using methods from statistics and data science to analyse large datasets. Discussing your results, progress and problems with your supervisor and colleagues.

Your PhD will end with the submission of a thesis (approximately 60,000 words in length) that significantly contributes to the knowledge of your field, and a viva exam, in which you’ll defend your research.

Ecology PhD programmes are generally advertised projects with full funding attached, with the project proposal written by the supervisor. However, for some advertised projects you must find your own source of funding, which can be difficult due to additional bench fees, though these may not be as high as more laboratory-based subjects, it is still an extra cost to cover. This difficulty also makes proposing your own project in Ecology uncommon.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Ecology 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 Ecology funding options

The research council responsible for funding Ecology 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 difficult for Ecology 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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Eco-evolutionary causes and genomic consequences of synergistic coevolution

The Department of Ecology at the School of Biology/Chemistry is seeking to appoint a Research Assistant (m/f/d) (salary grade E 13 TV-L, 65%) to commence at the earliest possible date. Read more

Thinking Nature Thinking

The project is located at the intersection of philosophy and poetics, between the conceptual labor of exploring and the poetic labor of inventing the idea of nature. Read more
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Key threats inshore habitats - Identifying key threats to shallow inshore habitats across time and space

About the research project. This PhD project has an ultimate aim to reduce human impacts on shallow water marine habitats (i.e. sedimentary, seagrass, seaweed and coral rubble) across Australia. Read more

Convex Seascape Survey – Effects of seabed disturbances and protection on uptake and storage of seascape carbon

Location. Distance learning in department of Ecology & Conservation, Penryn Campus, Cornwall. Students will be based in country of fieldwork (South Africa) enrolled as University of Exeter students, distance learning with periods of time spent on campus. Read more

Understanding marine ecosystems in the face of future variability and extreme events

Marine ecosystems consist of complex dynamic interactions among species and the environment, the understanding of which has significant ecological implications for predicting nature’s response to changes in climate and biodiversity. Read more

The Physiology of Macronutrient-Dependent Immunity in Honeybees

This project aims to understand the interaction between macronutrients and immunity. The candidate will develop research to understand how the quality and quantity of protein and lipid nutrients influence an adaptive immune response, using the response in bees as a model system. Read more

Combining tree sensor networks and remote sensing to characterise forest demographic responses to climate extremes

Project description. Understanding how tree growth and mortality will respond to rapidly changing climates over the coming decades is critical to predicting whether forest ecosystems will continue to act as a carbon sink into the future. Read more

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