Attend the Virtual Global Study Fair | Register Now Attend the Virtual Global Study Fair | Register Now

Health and wellbeing in an endangered non-human primate across an anthropogenic gradient

   Faculty of Science

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Dr Nicola Koyama, Dr Patrick Tkaczynski  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Project summary

This exciting opportunity integrates conservation management and animal wellbeing, using thermography and other non-invasive biomarkers of health and welfare, to assess the impact of anthropogenic disturbance in an endangered non-human primate.

Half of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity protected areas are within 50km of a city and the average urban land expansion from these cities is around 5% per annum. Consequently, the interface between wildlife and human populations is growing rapidly and research is needed to assess the impact of these interactions on wildlife health and welfare to inform the development of conservation management strategies.

The project aims to assess anthropogenic disturbance across an urban-wild gradient by considering the interplay between peaceful and competitive human-primate interactions, access to anthropogenic food sources, the novel application of thermography to assess well-being, and urinary and faecal biomarkers to measure immune activation and health. 

The PhD student will join our flourishing School of Biological & Environmental Sciences and work under the supervisory team of Dr Nicola Koyama and Dr Patrick Tkaczynski, as well as external supervision from Dr Liz Campbell (University of Oxford). You will receive bespoke training and support and a comprehensive transferable skills development programme from the LJMU Doctoral Academy.

Both the Faculty of Science and the School of Biological & Environmental Sciences have dedicated Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Groups, with the School EDI Coordinator leading collective action to promote and embed a culture of equality, diversity and inclusivity. We have a proactive Student EDI group, a Cultural Diversity Student network for ethnic minority students, and a group of Inclusion Ambassadors, who are staff trained to deal with microaggression and harassment. As a School, we embarked upon activities to begin to decolonise programme curricula almost two years ago: and earlier this year were awarded an Athena Swan Bronze award in recognition of our equality initiatives and action plan.

Essential and desirable criteria

Please explain (in your cover letter) and evidence (in your CV) how your experiences meet the following specific criteria.

Essential criteria: a Master’s degree in zoology, animal behaviour or a related field; prior experience working with wild primates or related field work; prior experience of behavioural data collection and laboratory work; evidence of excellent writing skills. A driving licence is essential.

Desirable criteria: A good working knowledge of statistical analysis using R, strong organisational skills, and the ability to work both independently and collaboratively with a team would be advantageous. Full training in appropriate research methodologies and analyses will be provided by the supervisory team and through our Doctoral Academy.

Funding Notes

UK and International applicants are invited. We particularly encourage students from ethnically diverse communities who are under-represented within LJMU.

Funding is not yet secured for this project. The start date for the PhD, if funding is successful, is February 2024. Stage 1: apply to be considered for competitive funding. Stage 2: the successful applicant from Stage 1 will be put forward for competitive funding in the LJMU VC Studentship funding call, which will includes three years of tuition fees, UKRI-standard stipend and research support. This advert is for Stage 1 applicants only.


For an informal discussion about this opportunity please email Nicola Koyama ( for more information.

Applicants should email a CV including contact details of two referees and covering letter detailing their suitability for the project to Nicola Koyama ( Please ensure your referees are able to provide a reference by 3 July 2023, if you are short-listed.

Applicants must be available for online interview on Monday 3 July 2023.

We are committed to making biological research more inclusive and are keen to support applicants from groups that have long been underrepresented and/or marginalised from the field. If you belong to such groups, we would like to offer dedicated pre-application advice and mentorship, so that you can prepare the strongest possible application. Please contact Nicola Koyama ( by 22 June 2023
Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.

PhD saved successfully
View saved PhDs