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How does biodiversity contribute to multiple forms of stability in stressed marine invertebrate communities?


Project Description

Project details:

We now know that biodiversity is important because different species simultaneously contribute to multiple ecosystem processes through time and space (Gamfeldt et al. Ecology 2008, Isbell et al. Nature 2011). A similar understanding of how species contribute to multiple forms of stability, e.g. variability, resilience, resistance, and persistence is lacking, yet similar mechanisms may prevail (Donohue et al. Ecology Letters 2013). This project is focused on assessing how species simultaneously contribute to a range of different ecosystem stabilities and functions. The project will assess how species traits, e.g. body mass or linkage density, explain variation in their contribution to multiple forms of stability. The project will employ a mixture of lab and field based mesocosm experiments to assess how invertebrate and associated microbial communities respond to disturbances when faced with multiple environmental stressors. Multiple measures of stability will be assessed from shoreline communities along the East Atlantic Seaboard from Portugal to Iceland with opportunities for overseas field work and collaboration. The project will combine experimental field and lab work with computer simulations to resolve and assess the stability of model marine food webs.

This project will be supervised by Professor Mark Emmerson, Dr Sarah Helyar, and Dr Paul Caplat of Queen’s University School of Biological Sciences.

All applications MUST be submitted through https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/user/u_login.php.

Specific skills/experience required by applicants:

Knowledge of R and statistics, marine invertebrate identification, laboratory based molecular analyses, experience of running experiments.

All applicants must meet the academic entry requirements: https://www.qub.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate-research/biological-sciences-phd.html#entry

Funding Notes

Only UK and EU students are eligible to apply. Before applying, it is strongly recommended that you read the full information on eligibility criteria available from DfE: View Website.

Please note in particular that not all successful applicants may be eligible to receive a full studentship (i.e. fees and stipend) - please read in detail the Residency and Citizenship requirements in the document linked to above.

How good is research at Queen’s University Belfast in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 24.40

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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