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Assessing the environmental impacts of veterinary drug use on moorlands

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Paul Kay
    Dr R Ansell
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

Moorland areas are very important worldwide and are found, for example, in the British Isles, Russia, Canada, Scandinavia, New Zealand, Tasmania, Japan and South America (Holden et al., 2007). The need to conserve these environments is exemplified by the fact that many have been given national and international conservation designations to protect habitats and priority species. In addition to biodiversity, they are internationally important for water supply, carbon storage, agriculture, forestry and tourism (Thompson et al., 1995; Holden et al., 2007; Curtis et al., 2014). Veterinary drugs may however be found in moorland environments due to their administration to sheep and game birds (Newborn and Foster, 2002; Ceballos et al., 2012) and the fact that 50 % of the administered dose is often excreted unchanged (Kreuzig et al., 2007; Weiss et al., 2008). The overall aim of the project is to understand whether the use of veterinary drugs in moorland catchments is leading to the presence of these emerging pollutants in the environment. Specific work may include: 1. Improved analysis of veterinary drugs using molecularly imprinted polymers 2. Measurement of the occurrence of veterinary medicines in moorland soils and water 3. Determination of the environmental fate of drugs in moorland catchments 4. Experiments to determine the effects of veterinary medicines on moorland species


Entry requirements: Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree.


Funding Notes

This 3.5 years award from the Game and Wildlife Conservancy Trust will provide tuition fees (£4,500 for 2019/20), tax-free stipend at the UK research council rate (£15,009 for 2019/20), and a research training and support grant of £12,000.



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