Applied Ecology Research Group (AERG)
Proposed supervisory team
Dr Helen Wheeler
Climate change, species distribution
Summary of the research project
Climate change is rapidly altering ecosystems and affecting people’s way of life, exerting effects from the individual to biome scale. Since 1500, 322 terrestrial vertebrate species have gone extinct and recorded populations show a 25% decline in abundance. Rapid rates of species decline, extinction and range contraction provide increasing evidence that we are entering a sixth mass extinction period induced by human activities, which is likely to compromise the functioning of ecosystems and affect the wellbeing of humans. These risks are especially prominent in the Arctic, where rapid warming, changing human-related infrastructure, human activity, human extraction of biological resources and contaminants affect animals and in turn the people that depend on animals for socio-economic wellbeing including food and culture.
This PhD will examine how different drivers of change affect wildlife species and ecological communities with arctic distributions. You will examine how species’ responses to climate change varies across their distribution and how communities are responding to arctic change across a range of physical and anthropogenic drivers.
Where you'll study
This project is self-funded.
Details of studentships for which funding is available are selected by a competitive process and are advertised on our jobs website as they become available.
If you wish to be considered for this project, you will need to apply for our Biology PhD. In the section of the application form entitled 'Outline research proposal', please quote the above title and include a research proposal.