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DTC BIO 4 - Macroevolution of niche breadth: what determines direction of trends towards specialism or generalism?

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

Project Description

Animals vary greatly in the diversity of ecological resources (such as food) they exploit, from specialists feeding on a single prey species to generalists eating almost anything they can overpower and ingest. Whether specialists have arisen from generalist lineages or whether generalists evolve by specialists expanding their niche space is a question which has been studied in many groups, but the answers have been conflicting as both patterns are observed in different taxa. This project will collect information on niche breadth across many animal groups and analyse this in a phylogenetic framework to understand what factors lead to either generalist-from-specialist or specialist-to-generalist pathways predominating the evolution of niche breadth.

Entry requirements

Candidates must have a minimum of an upper second class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or an appropriate Master’s degree (with Merit). Informal enquiries are welcome by emailing the project supervisor.

For candidates whose first language is not English, we require IELTS 6.5 (with 6.0 in each component) or equivalent. Please visit our website for a list of acceptable English language tests. We prefer candidates to have already met the English Language requirements at the point of application, although this is not a requirement.

How to apply

Visit our webpage for details -

Please include the project ID and title in your email subject header (eg. DTC BIO xxxxxx)

Funding Notes

Student Finance England have announced plans to offer student loans for PhD level courses from September 2018 for courses at any PhD awarding university (including Swansea University). Full details are still to be confirmed. Visit our website for updated information. –

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