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Green cities: how our decisions affect landscape biodiversity

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  • Full or part time
    Dr A Helden
    Dr T Ings
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Research Group: Animal and Environment Research Group (AERG)

Proposed supervisory team: Dr Alvin Helden ([Email Address Removed]), Dr Tom Ings ([Email Address Removed])

Theme: Smart Cities

Summary of the research project:

Land management decisions made at the planning stage and in terms of on-going site management are likely to have major impacts on biodiversity. Each decision has consequences at the local site level for biodiversity, particularly for plants and invertebrates, but in turn this affects animals higher in the food chain such as birds. Although we have some understanding of this, we need to learn more about how the combined effects of local management influences biodiversity at a whole town or city scale. This project will quantify the effect of planning and management decisions on invertebrate and other biodiversity at an urban landscape scale. It will use small-scale experiments, fieldwork and published data to parameterise urban landscape models, designed to inform authorities about options for biodiversity enhancement. Ultimately the research will contribute to the development of future urban areas with improved benefits for wildlife and people.

Small-scale invertebrate sampling will be carried out, together with wider-scale habitat mapping. Sampling data will be brought together, with that from the literature, to parameterise landscape models that will enable alternative management practices to be simulated. It will help to ask questions as to what effects local management decisions will make to the biodiversity of whole urban areas. This will represent a more advanced approach to the growing field of urban biodiversity, much of which has been largely observational.

Where you'll study: Cambridge


This project is self-funded. Details of studentships for which funding is available are selected by a competitive process and are advertised on our jobs website as they become available.

Next steps:

If you wish to be considered for this project, you will need to apply for our Animal and Environmental Sciences PhD. In the section of the application form entitled 'Outline research proposal', please quote the above title and include a research proposal.

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