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Mitigating risks to pollination services caused by climate change

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Wednesday, February 20, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Climate change is expected to cause mismatches between crops and the insects that pollinate them. These mismatches may be spatial i.e. the area where crops grown in the future are not the same areas that are suitable for pollinators; or temporal i.e. the peak flowering period of the crop do not coincide with the peak flight activity of the pollinators. This PhD will explore these key issues identified by Worldwide Fruit Limited using two economically important top fruits - apples and pears.
Using a combination of fieldwork, controlled cage experiments and modelling techniques, the studentship will:
1. Quantify the expected spatial and temporal mismatches between existing fruit crops and their key pollinator species.
2. Assess the likely risks to pollination and production for novel and emerging varieties.
3. Estimate the production and financial risks under expected future climate.
4. Test the effectiveness of mitigation options to reduce production vulnerability.
This funded project forms part of the Waitrose Collaborative Training Partnership (CTP) between the Waitrose Partnership, their international food production and supply companies, Lancaster University, the University of Reading, University of Warwick and Rothamsted Research. The CTP will deliver studentships on the themes of sustainable crop production, sustainable soil and water and biodiversity and ecosystem services in agriculture. This project is based at University of Reading.

Funding Notes

Applicants should have the minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in subjects such as Ecology, Agriculture or Biological science and hold a full UK driving license. MSc in a relevant subject with experience of carrying out a short research project is desirable (not essential.


Full studentships (UK/EU tuition fees and stipend (£14,777 2018/2019 tax-free) for 4 years for UK/EU students subject to eligibility criteria. Unfortunately, studentships are not available to non-UK/EU applicants.
For further details please contact Dr. Deepa Senapathi – [email protected] or for application queries contact Roz Wareing, [email protected] . Visit the Waitrose CTP Website
Follow the instructions on How to apply of the Waitrose CTP website

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