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Is there a future for the harvest mouse in arable farmland?

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Project Overview:
Small mammals, including the enigmatic harvest mouse (Micromys minutus), have long been associated with cereal farming. They may consume crop seed and shoots, but they also provide potentially important ecosystem services. However, we know little about how they have been affected by changes in cereal farming, such as the introduction of field margins to promote biodiversity, and the organic cultivation of “heritage” varieties. Despite the fact that their name suggests an intimate association with farming, harvest mice are particularly poorly understood in this context: we have little reliable information about their abundance and distribution in arable land, and their conservation status in the UK is far from clear.

This project will examine the impact of recent changes in cereal farming on small mammals in general, and on harvest mice in particular. We will survey small mammals, and associated ecosystem services, in experimental and real-world cereal plots, under varying conditions. The student will gain experience of mammal trapping and identification, entomological skills, laboratory feeding trials and genetic analysis.

The University of Nottingham is one of the world’s most respected research-intensive universities, ranked 8th in the UK for research power (REF 2014). Students studying in the School of Life Sciences will have the opportunity to thrive in a vibrant, multidisciplinary environment, with expert supervision from leaders in their field, state-of-the-art facilities and strong links with industry. Students are closely monitored in terms of their personal and professional progression throughout their study period and are assigned academic mentors in addition to their supervisory team. The School provides structured training as a fundamental part of postgraduate personal development and our training programme enables students to develop skills across the four domains of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF). During their studies, students will also have the opportunity to attend and present at conferences around the world. The School puts strong emphasis on the promotion of postgraduate research with a 2-day annual PhD research symposium attended by all students, plus academic staff and invited speakers.

Funding Notes

I am looking for opportunities to fund this project, and there are a couple of options available. If you are interested in the project, get in touch and we can discuss these options.

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 90.86

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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