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Molecular Biology (NERC) PhD Projects, Programs & Scholarships

We have 33 Molecular Biology (NERC) PhD Projects, Programs & Scholarships

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  Impacts of weathering, redox cycling and microbial activity on the formation of kaolinite (china clay). PhD in Mining and Minerals Engineering (NERC GW4 + DTP)
  Dr L Newsome
Application Deadline: 6 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Lead Supervisor. Dr Laura Newsome, Camborne School of Mines, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter.
  Developing a marine microalgal system for environmental epigenetics. PhD in Biosciences (NERC GW4 + DTP)
  Dr V Kumar
Application Deadline: 6 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Lead Supervisor. Dr Vinod Kumar, Department of Biosciences, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter. Additional Supervisors.
  NERC GW4+ DTP CASE studentship: Competition amongst endemic lizard species on a tropical island (Round Island, Mauritius)
  Prof W Symondson, Dr I Vaughan, Dr P Orozco Ter Wengel
Application Deadline: 6 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Round Island, Mauritius, hosts a community of rare endemic lizard species. Their environment was cleared of most vegetation by introduced goats and rabbits (now eliminated).
  The Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI) call for PhD Studentship applications 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

The Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI) offers up to two competitively. awarded and generously funded MPhil/PhD studentships annually.
  Distribution modelling and the management and conservation of European ectomycorrhizal communities
  Dr M Bidartondo, Dr C D L Orme
Application Deadline: 23 November 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

In this project, the student will develop cutting-edge distributional models of dominant ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal species across Europe and establish vital practice and policy recommendations for the monitoring, management and conservation of these ecologically critical organisms.
  Epigenetic mechanisms of phenotypic plasticity and the evolution of adaptive responses
  Dr R Hager, Prof J McInerney
Applications accepted all year round

Funding Type

PhD Type

We now live in a world of rapidly changing environmental conditions where species will need to adapt or perish. While populations may evolve in response to environmental change, more rapid responses may happen through processes like phenotypic plasticity.
  GW4 FRESH CDT PhD Studentship: Assessing the microbial contamination of freshwater systems by wastewater treatment plants using phage microbial source tracking
  Dr A Lanham
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

This project is one of a number that are in competition for funding from the NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Freshwater Biosciences and Sustainability (GW4 FRESH CDT) which is offering up to 14 studentships to start in September 2020.
  Analysis of pathogen determinants recognized by the hypervariable immune receptor Dscam
  Dr M Soller
Applications accepted all year round

Funding Type

PhD Type

Background. To mount an immune response, host organisms must first recognize the pathogen with which they are infected. The first line of defense against pathogen infection in animals is provided through the innate immune response.
  Determining novel molecular regulators of necrosis controlling premature cell death
  Dr Y Fan
Applications accepted all year round

Funding Type

PhD Type

Necrosis, a form of premature cell death, is frequently caused by excessive insults such as trauma, infection and toxins. It has been implicated in many human diseases including cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and inflammatory diseases.
  Differential ion mobility spectrometry and mass spectrometry for proteomics
  Prof H J Cooper
Applications accepted all year round

Funding Type

PhD Type

Research in our laboratory focuses on the application of state-of-the-art mass spectrometry techniques to the global analysis of peptides and proteins.
  Elucidating the pathobiology of Candida albicans
  Dr R Hall
Applications accepted all year round

Funding Type

PhD Type

The Hall lab is interested in understanding the biology and virulence factors of fungal pathogens. Our research largely focuses on the opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans, which causes a range of infections from superficial mucosal infections (i.e.
  Regulation of apoptosis-induced compensatory cell proliferation and its implications for cancer and tissue regeneration
  Dr Y Fan
Applications accepted all year round

Funding Type

PhD Type

In multi-cellular organisms, coordinated cell death (e.g. apoptosis) and cell replacement is critical for tissue recovery in response to stress or damage.
  Understanding the role that the RNA helicase UPF1 plays in sorting ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes and the mechanism by which this role of UPF1 might reduce cellular stress and cell degeneration.
  Research Group: BBSRC MIBTP
  Dr S Brogna
Application Deadline: 7 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

This project’s specific objective is to study the molecular role(s) that the RNA helicase UPF1 plays in RNA processing. UPF1 is a key player in nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD), it is universally conserved in eukaryotes and is essential to the development of many organisms [1].
  Do starving plants salvage carbon from their cell-wall polysaccharides?
  Research Group: Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences
  Prof S C Fry
Application Deadline: 5 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Plant cell-wall polysaccharides (cellulose, hemicelluloses, pectin) account for a high percentage of the plant’s total carbon [1].
  Vitamin C breakdown in plants and ‘smoothies’
  Research Group: Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences
  Prof S C Fry
Application Deadline: 5 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Ascorbate and dehydroascorbic acid (DHA) both serve as vitamin C in the human diet. They are interconvertible within the cells of both animals and plants.
  Genomics of Adaption to Climate Change in Rice
  Dr M Chapman, Dr M Carine, Dr L Williams
Application Deadline: 3 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project Rationale. Feeding a growing population sustainably in the face of climate change requires us to resolve the genetic basis of crop tolerance to stress (especially temperature, precipitation and edaphic factors).
  The ageing bee: how does sociality affect ageing in social animals? (BOURKEUBIO20ARIES)
  Prof A Bourke, Dr A Maklakov, Prof T Chapman
Application Deadline: 7 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

SCIENTIFIC BACKGROUND. Explaining patterns of ageing in organisms is essential for both our scientific understanding of the diversity of life histories and our ability to manipulate them in beneficial ways.
  An interdisciplinary assessment of innovative coastal management: the Bacton-Walcott Sandscaping Scheme (TOLHURSTUENV20ARIES)
  Dr T Tolhurst, Dr I Lorenzoni, Mr R Goodliffe
Application Deadline: 7 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

SCIENTIFIC BACKGROUND. Rising sea levels and other effects of climate change are exacerbating coastal change internationally. Recognition of the benefits of coastal defences that work with natural processes has resulted in a shift towards ‘soft’ coastal protection.
  Carbon Capture for Soil Ecosystem Service Enhancement (REIDUENV20ARIES)
  Dr B Reid, Dr A Harwood
Application Deadline: 7 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

BACKGROUND. Over the last century, agriculture has caused soil erosion and the loss of soil organic carbon on an enormous scale.
  Do diatoms feel cold? Mechanisms of temperature sensing in temperate and polar diatoms (WHEELERUMBA20ARIES)
  Dr G Wheeler, Prof T Mock, Dr K Helliwell
Application Deadline: 7 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

SCIENTIFIC BACKGROUND. Diatoms are single-celled algae that are able to inhabit diverse marine environments, including habitats that experience significant fluctuations in temperature and salinity, such as estuaries.
  Systems off-balance? Exploring the cumulative impacts of enriched coastal waters, altered nutrient ratios and a warming climate on coastal phytoplankton communities (MALINUENV20ARIES)
  Dr G Malin, Dr N Greenwood, Dr M Devlin
Application Deadline: 7 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

SCIENTIFIC BACKGROUND. Coastal eutrophication is a worldwide issue with negative cultural and environmental impacts and its assessment is a formal requirement of several European Directives.
  Effects of dispersants on mitigating environmental impacts of marine oil pollution: insights from microbiological, chemical and field investigations.
  Dr B McKew, Dr R Holland, Dr T J McGenity
Application Deadline: 7 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Scientific background. Oil spills are one of the most challenging threats to the marine environment that can have long-. term impacts on fisheries, the economy and society.
  Fate, transformation and effect of microplastics on microbial communities in the environment
  Dr C Whitby, Dr P Laissue, Dr A G Mayes, Prof R Thompson
Application Deadline: 7 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Scientific background. Microplastics enter ecosystems, where they affect microorganisms and their processes. Microbial-driven ammonia-oxidation is fundamental to the environmental cycling of nitrogen (N) and ammonia-oxidisers are highly sensitive to environmental perturbations.
  Seascape genomics of Antarctic deep-sea coral: Groundtruthing larval dispersal models with genetic connectivity data
  Dr M Taylor, Dr O Hogg, Dr R Vieira, Dr R Ross
Application Deadline: 7 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Scientific background. Detailed understanding of dispersal and genetic connectivity is critical in determining processes underpinning population persistence and productivity, speciation, appropriate scales for management, and the potential for recovery from detrimental impacts e.g.
  Nutrigenomics and the resilience of bees in a changing climate
  Dr J Gilbert
Application Deadline: 6 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Ecosystem stability and global food security depend upon healthy populations of bees, our foremost pollinators. Bees provide pollination services worth hundreds of billions of pounds annually.
  Sociobiology on the fly; understanding social interactions in multispecies groups
  Research Group: School of Biology
  Dr A Bretman, Dr X Harrison
Application Deadline: 6 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

The effects of social environments on individuals are widespread, even in species not classically thought of as social (Bailey and Moore 2018).
  The mysterious microbial ecosystem beneath our feet: Unravelling the groundwater microbiology archive
  Mr J Sorensen
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

This FRESH CDT project aims to provide the first overview of the UK’s groundwater microbial ecosystem. Groundwater constitutes 99% of all accessible freshwater on the planet and is a vital resource for public water supply in the UK.
  GW4 FRESH CDT studentship: Cascading effects of micro- and nano-plastics on lipid quality and transfer through freshwater planktonic ecosystems
  Dr IA Guschina, Prof S Ormerod
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

Despite growing global concern about the occurrence of small plastic particles (nano- and micro-plastics) in the world’s seas, rivers and lakes, there has been limited research into understanding any adverse effects on living organisms.
  GW4 FRESH CDT studentship: Cryptosporidium movement in water- impact of eutrophication and climate change on the zoonotic disease agent
  Prof J Cable
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

Cryptosporidium is a human pathogen unknown until the mid-1970s; in 1993 0.4 million people were infected in Milwaukee following a water treatment failure, and since then, large outbreaks throughout the developed world (most recently Sweden, 2010) have kept the parasite in the public eye.
  Genomic architecture of inbreeding depression in butterflies
  Dr I J Saccheri, Dr V Oostra
Application Deadline: 8 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Small and fragmented populations often suffer from reduced fitness due to inbreeding depression, which may impact population growth and persistence.
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