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Palaeobiology (NERC) PhD Projects, Programs & Scholarships

We have 13 Palaeobiology (NERC) PhD Projects, Programs & Scholarships

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  Ecology and evolution of the earliest terrestrial animals. PhD in Biosciences (NERC GW4 + DTP)
  Dr X Ma
Application Deadline: 6 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Lead Supervisor. Dr. Xiaoya Ma, Department of Biosciences, Centre for Ecology & Conservation, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter.
  NERC GW4+ DTP Projects 2020: (Living World, Changing Planet) Advancing the study of photosynthetic life in extreme cryo-environments
  Dr C Williamson
Application Deadline: 6 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Permanently cold ecosystems make up more than 70% of the Earth’s biosphere, though paradoxically, the microorganisms that thrive in these extreme habitats are the most poorly understood.
  The influence of biogeochemistry and microbiology on Antarctic ice shelves
  Dr E Bagshaw, Dr A Jungblut, Prof I Hawes, Prof J L Wadham
Application Deadline: 6 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project Background. Predicting the future behaviour of ice shelves is critical for understanding how Antarctica will respond to climate warming.
  Devonian Tropical Plant Assemblages from Arctic Svalbard
  Dr C Berry, Prof D Edwards, Dr L Cherns
Application Deadline: 6 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project Background. The Devonian period (419-359 million years ago) is the critical time in Earth history when land plants evolved from being ankle high simple branched naked twigs to being leafy trees growing in complex forest ecosystems (Stein et al.
  Insect adaptation to Antarctica: past and future
  Dr S Hayward, Dr L Orsini, Prof J Colbourne
Application Deadline: 10 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Model reconstructions of the last glacial maximum (LGM ~20 000 years BP) suggest that all low-lying coastal areas on Antarctica, and many sub-Antarctic islands were completely covered by ice – thus wiping out all terrestrial life.
  Tackling taxonomic and taphonomic biases in the Triassic fossil fish record
  Dr S Giles, Dr T Clements, Dr I Sansom
Application Deadline: 10 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Ray-finned fishes (actinopterygians) are the most diverse and successful group of vertebrates today, accounting for over half of living vertebrate species.
  The evolution of functional disparity in the avian skull
  Dr J Bright
Application Deadline: 6 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Birds represent one of the most spectacular adaptive radiations in earth’s history, with over 10,000 extant species spanning a range of ecologies and environments.
  Modelling the Cambrian Explosion
  Dr R Wood, Dr A Curtis
Application Deadline: 9 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Summary. We propose to model the depositional and diagenetic contributions to poorly understood geochemical proxies that are of importance to understanding the ‘Cambrian Explosion’ and modernisation of Earth’s biogeochemical cycles.
  A predator-prey arms race in Mesozoic oceans
  Dr A Dunhill, Dr A Beckerman, Dr J Dunne, Prof P Wignall
Application Deadline: 6 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

The diversity of modern marine animals has increased dramatically over the past 230 million years, beginning with an event called the Mesozoic Marine Revolution (MMR).
  The past as the key to the future: assessing ecological and landscape response to rising sea level (CASE funded)
  Dr N Barlow, Prof DM Hodgson
Application Deadline: 6 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

The goal of this project is to develop a large-scale palaeo landscape dataset from the North Sea, which may be used to better forecast future coastline response to changing sea level.
  Evolution of unique cranial morphology and function in lagomorphs: a combined effect of locomotion and mastication?
  Dr A Sharp, Dr N Jeffery, Dr P Cox
Application Deadline: 8 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Mammals have evolved diverse craniofacial morphology to adapt to a wide range of ecological niches. However, the factors driving this evolution of different morphologies and functions, and the mechanisms of evolutionary change are not fully understood.
  Moving about a new axis: The role of the backbone in major adaptive radiations of terrestrial vertebrates
  Dr KT Bates, Dr K Jones, Dr P Cox, Dr J Gardiner
Application Deadline: 8 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Evolutionary shifts in locomotion underpin major ecological transitions in vertebrates. Our understanding of how key innovations in the locomotor system drive taxonomic and ecological diversity during evolutionary transitions is largely based on the limbs.
  Determining how ancient human societies and historic climate change have shaped Egypt’s mammalian fauna and its implications for our understanding of the links between people and the environment
  Dr J Bro-Jorgensen, Prof CD Thomas, Dr S Snape
Application Deadline: 8 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

We are seeking a PhD student to research how the mammalian fauna of Egypt have been altered by human activities and climate change over the past 10,000yrs, and what this can tell us about interactions between the environment and society and their role in the development of human culture.
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