Coventry University Featured PhD Programmes
Marshall Wace LLP Featured PhD Programmes
Coventry University Featured PhD Programmes

Landscape matters: combined correlative and experimental investigation into future directions for pesticide risk assessment

Department of Environment and Geography

York United Kingdom Agricultural Sciences Ecology Ecotoxicology Environmental Biology Environmental Chemistry Plant Biology Pollution

About the Project

ECORISC Partner organisation: Fera Science, Chemicals Regulation Directorate

Project Overview: This CASE PhD is strongly led by Stakeholder needs (Fera Science, Chemicals Regulation Directorate). It combines long-term mesocosm experiments within a unique experimental facility (E-flows mesocosms) with correlative analysis of landscape-scale data. The overall aim is to provide proof-of-concept for incorporating landscape-scale factors and ecological recovery into pesticide risk assessment, using aquatic plants as the basis for the research. The project is supported by leading experts from different disciplines, creating the opportunity for excellent training and a genuine influence on future practice.

Novelty of the Project: Healthy aquatic plants are a cornerstone for healthy aquatic ecosystems. This project will generate fundamental science to improve future pesticide risk assessments. The novelty lies in the combination of long-term field experiments in the E-flows mesocosms and a landscape-scale investigation into the ecology, distribution and chemical exposure of aquatic macrophytes.

Expertise that you would develop: You will develop experimental ecotoxicology skills working alongside Fera Science Ltd in the world-class E-flows mesocosm facility at Sand Hutton, York. In parallel, expertise will be developed in landscape ecology, ecological data analysis, pesticide exposure science, modelling and regulatory science. This ambition is facilitated by drawing on existing data and models from the Water Friendly Farming project.


This project is one of 12 projects being advertised by the NERC-funded ECORISC (Ecotoxicological Risk Assessment Towards Sustainable Chemical Use) Centre for Doctoral Training programme. More information on the CDT can be found at: Funding will be provided for 3 years and 10 months. During this time you will work on your research project but will also receive a unique and outstanding training in pollution science and transferrable skills.

Over the first two years of their PhD programme, you will receive subject-specific training, in: i) ecotoxicology; ii) environmental chemistry; iii) ecology; and iv) risk assessment; and v) core skills required for an environmental specialist. Successful completion of this training will result in the award of phase 1 of the Certified Environmental Risk Assessor qualification from the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. The formal training programme will be complemented by yearly residential challenge events, ECORISC annual conferences and tailored specialist skills training conducted as group and individual exercises.

ECORISC students will also be required to undertake two workplace experiences based with our business, policy and regulation, third sector and research organisation partners.

An inclusive CDT programme

Inclusivity is at the heart of the ECORISC programme. We strongly encourage applications from under-represented groups and are employing a number of mechanisms, such as the possibility of part-time working, to ensure the programme is open to all. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process. If you have any questions, then please don’t hesitate to contact us at .

Eligibility and Application process

The studentship is open to highly motivated UK applicants with at least an upper second class Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. Successful applicants will be passionate about environmental pollution science and want their science to make a difference.

To be considered for this and other PhD’s offered under the ECORISC CDT, you should initially complete a short online application form available at:

Applications should be submitted before 1700 (British Summer Time) on 16th May. Your will be notified of the outcome of the process by 25th May.

Successful applicants, will be provided with an opportunity to meet with supervisory teams and then be invited to submit a project-specific application form which will be used to shortlist candidates for an interview.

If you have any questions on the ECORISC CDT or the application process, please contact us at .

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