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Environmental Biology (freshwater) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 9 Environmental Biology (freshwater) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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We have 9 Environmental Biology (freshwater) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

Studying a PhD in Environmental Biology, you’ll have the time and resources to conduct a research project into the impact humans are having on the ecosystem, how the environment is affecting species within it, or developing methods to mitigate loss of Biodiversity. This work can involve field and laboratory work, be entirely based on Bioinformatics, or a metanalysis.

What’s it like to do a PhD in Environmental Biology?

Doing a PhD in Environmental Biology, you’ll become proficient in a range of skills and techniques in either laboratory and field work or Bioinformatics. Those using Bioinformatics will learn to programme in software such as R and Python, and gain experience using techniques from data science and statistics.

Some typical research topics in Environmental Biology include:

  • Mathematically modelling how food chains may be affected by environmental stressors – human or otherwise
  • Studying environmental factors in disease susceptibility and recovery
  • Developing methods to promote or improve ocean sustainability
  • Devising methods of reducing adverse effects of environmental changes on a population (cross over with Biodiversity and Ecology)
  • Identifying novel environmental contaminants

In a general workday, you may be taking samples from your ecosystem of study, performing experiments in the laboratory, or writing programmes to model a population. You’ll spend time planning future work, writing up your work to date, and chatting to your supervisor and colleagues about your plans and results. Your PhD will end in a thesis of approximately 60,000 words, which you’ll defend during your viva exam.

Environmental Biology programmes are generally advertised with full funding attached, meaning the project is pre-proposed by the supervisor. Some projects request you find your own funding, which can be difficult due to the additional bench fees. Proposing your own research project is uncommon in Environmental Biology, mostly due to the funding challenges.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Environmental Biology PhD programmes involve a Masters in a subject directly related to Biology, 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 Environmental Biology funding options

The Research Council responsible for funding Environmental Biology 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 Environmental Biology 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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Food-web dynamics of mixed introduced and native fish communities in Aotearoa New Zealand lakes

Food-web dynamics of mixed introduced and native fish communities in Aotearoa New Zealand lakes. We are offering a doctoral research scholarship to investigate lake food-web dynamics of mixed introduced and native fish assemblages in Aotearoa / New Zealand lakes. Read more
Last chance to apply

Winners and losers: biodiversity responses to degradation in Amazonian forests and freshwaters

The Amazon Forest is one of the Earth’s most important ecosystems. it accounts for c.50% of all remaining rainforests, while housing at least 10% of all known biodiversity on the planet. 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

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

Research opportunities in the Department of Environment and Geography

We offer an outstanding, dynamic and interdisciplinary space in which to carry out PhD research in all aspects of human geography and environmental science, including lab-based, field-based, desk-based and policy-oriented research. Read more
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