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Biodiversity conservation ex situ or in situ with a focus on genetic diversity.

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Field studies, ecogeography, geographic information systems and estimation of patterns of genetic diversity, IUCN taxonomic and genetic threat assessment will help elucidate conservation strategies and taxonomic clarity of critically endanged plant species. Work may also involve the conservation of domesticated crop diversity in terms of on-farm conservation in traditional agricultural systems.

We have a collaborative arrangement with the International Centre for Agriculutral Research in Dry Areas in Syria and Bioversity International in Italy whereby such research can be facilitated, and joint PhD research projects undertaken.


To find out more about studying for a PhD at the University of Birmingham, including full details of the research undertaken in each school, the funding opportunities for each subject, and guidance on making your application, you can now order your copy of the new Doctoral Research Prospectus, at:

Please find additional funding text below. For further funding details, please see the ‘Funding’ section.
The School of Biosciences offers a number of UK Research Council (e.g. BBSRC, NERC) PhD studentships each year. Fully funded research council studentships are normally only available to UK nationals (or EU nationals resident in the UK) but part-funded studentships may be available to EU applicants resident outside of the UK. The deadline for applications for research council studentships is 31 January each year.

Each year we also have a number of fully funded Darwin Trust Scholarships. These are provided by the Darwin Trust of Edinburgh and are for non-UK students wishing to undertake a PhD in the general area of Molecular Microbiology. The deadline for this scheme is also 31 January each year.

Funding Notes

All applicants should indicate in their applications how they intend to fund their studies. We have a thriving community of international PhD students and encourage applications at any time from students able to find their own funding or who wish to apply for their own funding (e.g. Commonwealth Scholarship, Islamic Development Bank).

The postgraduate funding database provides further information on funding opportunities available View Website and further information is also available on the School of Biosciences website View Website


Maxted, N., Avagyan, A. Frese, L., Iriondo, J.M., Magos Brehm, J., Singer, A. and Kell, S.P. (2015). Preserving diversity: a concept for in situ conservation of crop wild relatives in Europe. In Situ Working Group, European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources, Rome, Italy.
Vincent, H., Wiersema, J., Kell, S.P., Dobbie, S., Fielder, H., Castañeda Alvarez, N.P., Guarino, L., Eastwood, R., Leόn, B. & Maxted, N., (2013). A prioritised crop wild relative inventory as a first step to help underpin global food security. Biological Conservation, 167: 265-275.
Underwood, E, Poláková, J, Berman, S, Dooley, E, Frelih-Larsen, A, Kretschmer, B, Maxted, N, McConville, A J, Naumann, S, Sarteel, M and Tostivint, C (2013) Options for feeding 10 billion people. Sustainable intensification of crop production: climate change and agriculture; biodiversity and agriculture. Report prepared for the STOA Panel of the European Parliament. Contract IP/A/STOA/FWC/2008-096/LOT3/C1/SC5, European Parliament Science and Technology Options Assessment STOA.
Maxted, N., Kell, S.P., Ford-Lloyd, B.V., Dulloo, M.E. & Toledo, A., (2012). Toward the systematic conservation of global crop wild relative diversity. Crop Sciences, 52(2): 774-785.
Hargreaves, S.; Maxted, N.; Hirano, R.; Abberton, M.; Skøt, L.; Ford-Lloyd, B. V., (2010). Islands as refugia of Trifolium repens genetic diversity. Conservation Genetics, 11(4): 1317-1326.
Maxted, N., Dulloo, E., Ford-Lloyd, B.V., Iriondo, J. & Jarvis, A., (2008). Genetic gap analysis: a tool for more effective genetic conservation assessment. Diversity and Distributions, 14: 1018-1030.
Bilz, M., Kell, S.P., Maxted, N. and Lansdown, R.V. (2011). European Red List of Vascular Plants. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. ISBN 978-92-79-20199-8.
Maxted, N., Dulloo, M.E., Ford-Lloyd, B.V., Frese, L., Iriondo, J.M. & Pinheiro de Carvalho, M.A.A., (eds.) (2011). Agrobiodiversity Conservation: Securing the Diversity of Crop Wild Relatives and Landraces. CAB International, Wallingford.
Veteläinen, M., Negri, V. & Maxted, N. (eds.), (2009). European Landraces: On-farm conservation, Management and Use. Bioversity Technical Bulletin 15. Pp. 1-359. Bioversity International, Rome, Italy. ISBN: 978-92-9043-805-2.
Iriondo, J.M., Maxted, N. and Dulloo, E. (eds.), (2008). Conserving Plant Genetic Diversity in Protected Areas: Population Management of Crop Wild Relatives. CAB International, Wallingford. ISBN: 97-818-459328-24.
Maxted, N., Ford-Lloyd, B.V., Kell, S.P., Iriondo, J., Dulloo, E. & Turok, J. (eds.), (2008). Crop wild relative conservation and use. CAB International, Wallingford. ISBN: 97-818-4593099-8.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 42.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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