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Evolution Education Trust PhD project: Morphological diversification of Southern Ocean penguins

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, April 30, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The University of Bath is inviting applications for this PhD opportunity based at the Milner Centre for Evolution, a unique, cross-faculty research centre bridging biology, health and education. The Centre is dedicated to a broad range of fundamental research questions relating to evolutionary biology; from in deep time, to the micro-evolutionary dynamics of a disease outbreak. We have a strong focus on public engagement and outreach. We are located in a dedicated multi-million-pound building that opened on the University campus in September 2018. For further information about the centre see https://www.bath.ac.uk/research-centres/milner-centre-for-evolution/.

Project Overview:

Penguins are vulnerable to the global transformations predicted by climate change. Potential impacts include rising sea temperatures, the extent of ice versus land, and the availability of food given warmer waters. In this PhD project, the candidate will aim to understand the ecological adaptations of penguins in the context of a rapidly changing environment. The candidate will use quantitative methods to assess whether different species or populations are limited to specific diets or habitats by their morphology, and if those traits may be able to adapt to different resources in the future. This project will make use of morphological data (measurements, photographs, and CT scans) from museum collections, and integrate these with existing datasets on diet, foraging strategies, and habitat.

This project is part of an international collaboration between Jane Younger (University of Bath), John Bates (Field Museum of Natural History), and Sushma Reddy (University of Minnesota). The candidate will have the benefit of interacting with world experts in avian evolution and ecology, and the opportunity to make significant advances in the emerging field of geometric morphometrics. Training will be provided in cutting-edge phylogenetic comparative methods and advanced multivariate statistics, providing the PhD candidate with a diverse skillset for a career in science.

Candidate:

Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a First Class or high Upper Second Class UK Honours degree (or the equivalent qualification gained outside the UK) in a relevant subject. A master’s level qualification would also be advantageous.

Applications:

Informal enquiries should be directed to Jane Younger, .

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form:
https://samis.bath.ac.uk/urd/sits.urd/run/siw_ipp_lgn.login?process=siw_ipp_app&code1=RDUBB-FP02&code2=0013

On the application form, please ensure that you quote ‘Evolution Education Trust’ in the Finance section and the supervisor’s name and project title in the ‘Your research interests’ section. Should you wish to be considered for more than project, quote the projects in order of preference and upload a separate personal statement relevant to each one.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:
http://www.bath.ac.uk/guides/how-to-apply-for-doctoral-study/

Interviews will take place in Bath on 14 June 2019.

Anticipated start date: 30 September 2019.

Funding Notes

This project is one of a number that are in competition for funding from the Evolution Education Trust View Website.

A studentship will provide UK/EU tuition fees, a stipend in line with the UKRI rate (£15,009 p.a. for 2019/20) and a generous budget for research and training as well as funds to support outreach activities for a period of up to 3.5 years.

Note: ONLY UK and EU applicants are eligible for studentship funding. International applicants will not be considered unless they can fully self-fund (fees and living costs).

How good is research at University of Bath in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 24.50

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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