Viruses are the most abundant biological entities on the planet and represent the greatest reservoir of genetic diversity on Earth. Their numbers greatly exceed those of bacteria and fungi in almost all environments and their role in regulating host population size is well established in mammalian systems. However, in comparison to other organism groups, our knowledge of viral behaviour in the environment is extremely poor and their diversity remains vastly unexplored.
The overall aim of the studentship is to determine the structure and functional significance of the soil virome. This is an exciting area of research and will provide the student with unique skills and opportunities. Specifically, we will use the latest technologies to explore the environmental diversity, activity and function of viruses in the terrestrial biosphere. This is a missing component of biological food webs and it's vital that we get to know more about this topic.
Applicant should hold a 2:1 degree or above in a subject related to this PhD project including: Biology, Environmental Science, Microbiology, Agriculture, Biotechnology.