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We have 300 Environmental Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for Self-funded Students

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Environmental Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for Self-funded Students

We have 300 Environmental Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for Self-funded Students

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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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

QUADRAT DTP: Biological control of mosquitoes: optimising the efficacy of native macroinvertebrate predators

This fully funded, 42-month PhD project is part of the QUADRAT Doctoral Training Partnership. Biological control of mosquitoes often fails and thus needs radical new approaches; here, we will harness variation in the predatory efficiencies of native invertebrate predators of mosquitoes. Read more

QUADRAT DTP: Animal behaviour in a changing world: Investigating the effects of multiple stressors

This fully funded, 42-month PhD project is part of the QUADRAT Doctoral Training Partnership. Global environmental changes such as climate warming and pollution are major threats to biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and wellbeing. Read more

QUADRAT DTP: Investigating the role of archaea in peatland microbial ecosystems.

This fully funded, 42-month PhD project is part of the QUADRAT Doctoral Training Partnership. This project is fundamentally concerned with understanding the carbon cycle in peat wetland (including blanket bog) microbial ecosystems – both restored and naturally produced. Read more

QUADRAT DTP: Understanding the controls on cyanobacteria blooms in Northern Ireland lakes: a palaeolimnological perspective

This fully funded, 42-month PhD project is part of the QUADRAT Doctoral Training Partnership. OVERVIEW. The proliferation of harmful cyanobacteria algal blooms (cyanoHABs) is recognised as a global environmental problem threatening the quality of surface waters. Read more

QUADRAT DTP: Historical trends and future projections in lake and river ice phenology

This fully funded, 42-month PhD project is part of the QUADRAT Doctoral Training Partnership. In the last century the global average temperature has increased by ~1 °C, with the rate of increase doubling in recent decades and the northern high latitudes warming at 2-3 times the rate of the global average. Read more

R(D)SVS: Conservation genomics of the UK red squirrel to support habitat management and species restoration

The UK red squirrel population has declined over the past century due to a combination of habitat loss, invasive species competition and associated disease outbreaks. Scotland represents the last region where large, healthy populations exist, with current management focusing on red squirrel stronghold areas, while plans for species restoration in England are also underway. Read more

QUADRAT DTP: Offshore Engineering Geomorphology for Energy Transition

This fully funded, 42-month PhD project is part of the QUADRAT Doctoral Training Partnership. The energy transition is upon us as society aims to reduce emissions by transitioning into clean, renewable and carbon neutral energy sources. Read more

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