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Biodiversity resilience and ecosystem services in post-conflict socio-ecological systems in Colombia. Self funded Geography PhD

Project Description

Dr Ted Feldpausch, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter
Prof Toby Pennington, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter
Dr Dunia Urrego, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter

Location: University of Exeter Streatham Campus, Exeter, Devon

Project Description:

The project will explore the long-term resilience of Colombian Andean forest ecosystems to environmental and climatic changes and improve understanding of the future implications of forest degradation for Colombian society. Work will focus on understanding how degraded forests have undergone changes in biodiversity, in ecosystem services, and in how they participate in local and global cycles of carbon and energy. This is one of two PhD posts available. The other post focuses on palaeoecology.

Q1: What was the baseline vegetation and how has the vegetation responded to historical drivers of change (e.g. fire, climate, historical land-use degradation) in both species and evolutionary diversity?
Q2: Present land-cover land-use change: How do the properties and function (C storage in soil and vegetation, forest structure, composition, evolutionary diversity and functional diversity) of human-modified, socio-ecological systems vary, especially regarding fire, in comparison to more ‘intact’ systems?
Q3: What are the main factors, including tree traits and soil, which affect resistance and resilience to disturbance and changing climate in contemporary forests?
Q4: How well does evolutionary diversity predict functional diversity in both intact and modified forests?

The PhD project will make use of data collected under a NERC/AHRC project. Please note, travel to Colombia to work with local collaborators could be possible through student contribution to costs.

For more information about the project and informal enquiries, please contact the supervisory team: Dr Ted Feldpausch (), Prof Toby Pennington (), Dr Dunia Urrego ()

Funding Notes

This project is self funded.

Information about current fees : View Website
Information about possible funding sources: View Website
Information about Doctoral Loans: View Website

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