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Effects of ocean dynamics on marine biodiversity distributions and movements in the face of climate change

   School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

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  Prof Christophe Eizaguirre  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Project description

Climate change impacts all corners of the planet, including the Ocean. The increase in temperature alters entire ocean dynamics threatening marine species with extinction. This project offers to develop a comprehensive predictive distribution model that will consider change in ocean dynamics and movements of sea turtles found at the Cabo Verde archipelago. This biodiversity hotspot serves as a natural laboratory since it is located at the interface of the Northern and Southern Ocean gyres, in an area of high upwelling activity. All those major ocean processes already show signs of changes, affecting the dispersal of neonate sea turtles and of their adult distribution.

Here, we will combine ocean modelling with different telemetry tools to evaluate how ocean conditions alter sea turtle distributions. Our integrative approach is replicable across species and offers data for evidence-based development of marine protected areas. Our close collaboration with the Cabo Verde government brings the opportunity to impact the designation of marine protected areas that considers the future of this charismatic species.


This studentship is funded by QMUL. It will cover tuition fees, and provide an annual tax-free maintenance allowance for 3 years at the Research Council rate (£17,609 in 2021/22).

The project is open to UK and international students. The higher fees for international students (including EU) may be covered for up to 2 candidates applying for the Queen Mary Principal's PhD Studentships: Environment, Biodiversity and Genomics.

Eligibility and applying

Applications are invited from outstanding candidates with or expecting to receive a first or upper-second class honours degree and a masters degree in a related subject area. The perfect candidate for this project should not be afraid of developing mathematical skills to uncover sea turtle life history traits. The outcome of the work will be used for conservation-decisions and therefore we expect the successful candidate to engage with sharing results with a number of stakeholders. As such, communication skills will be important. 

Applicants from outside of the UK are required to provide evidence of their English language ability. Please see our English language requirements page for details.

Informal enquiries about the project can be sent to Prof Christophe Eizaguirre ([Email Address Removed]). Formal applications must be submitted through our online form by the stated deadline.

The School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences is committed to promoting diversity in science; we have been awarded an Athena Swan Silver Award. We positively welcome applications from underrepresented groups. 

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Funding Notes

The following fully-funded PhD studentship is available in the School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences with an expected start date of September 2022.
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