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EASTBIO Disentangling the taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional components of biotic homogenization

School of Biological Sciences

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Dr G Latombe , Dr A Phillimore , Dr I Myers-Smith No more applications being accepted Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Humans are modifying the abiotic and biotic environment at unpreceded rates, leading to a reshuffling of biodiversity known as biotic homogenisation. To understand this global phenomenon, it is important to understand how species richness and composition change at different scales over time. Doing so requires informative patterns capturing its different facets. Taxonomic diversity only captures one aspect of biodiversity. Functional and phylogenetic diversity are also essential to consider to understand the consequences of biodiversity changes for humans on the long term. In particular, functional diversity is important for the provision of ecosystem services, and phylogenetic diversity is important for the evolutionary potential of communities.

This PhD project will explore temporal changes in the structure of ecological communities, considering taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic aspects of shifts in community composition. These changes in species diversity will be related to a set of environmental drivers, to better understand how different factors interact to change the structure of communities.

The School of Biological Sciences is committed to Equality & Diversity:

How to Apply:
The “Institution Website” button will take you to our Online Application checklist. Complete each step and download the checklist which will provide a list of funding options and guide you through the application process.

Funding Notes

This 4 year PhD project is part of a competition funded by EASTBIO BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership This opportunity is open to UK and International students and provides funding to cover stipend and UK level tuition fees. The fee difference will be covered by the University of Edinburgh for successful international applicants. Please refer to UKRI website ( and Annex B of the UKRI Training Grant Terms and Conditions ( for full eligibility criteria.


McGeoch, M. A., Latombe, G., Andrew, N. R., Nakagawa, S., Nipperess, D. A., Roigé, M., ... & Steinberg, P. D. (2019). Measuring continuous compositional change using decline and decay in zeta diversity. Ecology, 100(11), e02832.

Blowes, S. A., Supp, S. R., Antão, L. H., Bates, A., Bruelheide, H., Chase, J. M., ... & Winter, M. (2019). The geography of biodiversity change in marine and terrestrial assemblages. Science, 366(6463), 339-345.

Magurran, A. E., Dornelas, M., Moyes, F., & Henderson, P. A. (2019). Temporal β diversity—A macroecological perspective. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 28(12), 1949-1960.
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