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Network Analysis of Rocky Shore Ecosystems

  • Full or part time

    Dr V A Smith
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, December 01, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Rocky shore ecosystems are known to undergo "regime shift", a shift in stable states of community make-up, often from a more desirable, species-rich composition, to a low-diversity make-up from which they cannot recover. These regime shifts, and the ability or not to move in or out of different states, are likely driven by interspecific interactions. However, how exactly what these interactions are, whether they change during regime shift, and their relationship to such shifts are unknown.
This PhD studentship will explore species interactions in rocky shore ecosystems, applying cutting-edge Bayesian network algorithms and other machine learning techniques to data collected from intertidal communities in St Andrews and Bournemouth. The student will design collection procedures in collaboration with St Andrews main supervisor, Dr Iain Matthews, and our Bournemouth collaborator, Prof Rick Stafford, and be guided in computational analyses of these data by secondary supervisor Dr V Anne Smith.

Funding Notes

Eligibility requirements: Upper second-class degree in Biology or a related area.
Funding: Fees and stipend is provided for 3.5 years.


Stafford R, Smith VA, Husmier D, Grima T, Guinn B (2013) Predicting ecological regime shift under climate change: new modelling and molecular-based approaches. Current Zoology 59: 403-417

How good is research at University of St Andrews in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 50.45

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

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