FREE PhD study and funding virtual fair REGISTER NOW FREE PhD study and funding virtual fair REGISTER NOW

Ecology PhD Research Projects

We have 85 Ecology PhD Research Projects



Biological Sciences



All locations



All Institutions

PhD Type

PhD Type

PhD Research Projects



All Funding

We have 85 Ecology PhD Research Projects

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.

read more
PhD saved successfully

THE MAYFLOWER STUDENTSHIP A Prestigious Fully funded PhD Studentship in Bioscience

This provides an exciting and novel opportunity to undertake training in research and education whilst studying for a PhD in the biosciences discipline of your choice at a world-leading Russell Group University. Read more

Elucidating the ecological niche and the current and future distribution of Vulpia myuros, a new weed in reduced tillage agriculture

Vulpia myuros (rattail fescue) is an annual grass species with almost worldwide presence. In recent years, V. myuroshas been increasingly observed as a weed in arable crops in Europe and northern America, in particular in crops under reduced tillage practices. Read more

Harnessing the social transmission of microbiota to improve health and immunity

Commercial partner: . Reckitt UK. , Slough. Social transmission of disease-causing microbes has long been recognised, and person-to-person social contact has recently attracted much negative societal attention for its role in spreading disadvantageous microbes during the COVID19 pandemic. Read more

The Roadmap of Human Pluripotency, Living Systems Institute – PhD

In the early mammalian embryo a group of cells form that have the special property of pluripotency. Pluripotency is the developmental potential of a cell to generate the founder lineages of the embryo. Read more
Last chance to apply


ABOUT THE PROJECT. The Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE) is offering a research scholarship to a highly motivated PhD candidate to join a newly funded ARC Research Hub on Nutrients in a Circular Economy (NiCE). Read more

Project at Cranfield University: Optimizing UK landscapes for agroecosystem resilience

Project description. Biodiversity loss is an existential threat to global food security, and agriculture plays a pivotal role in the protection of species for agroecosystem resilience. Read more

Filtering Results