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PhD in Food Web Networks and Environmental Change: Exploring how natural and anthropogenic stress influence the structure and dynamics of communities.

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

Project Description

The interactions among species define a food web network. In these networks, species have dynamics (e.g. numbers and biomass), the community has structure (e.g. diversity, body size distributions, and predator-prey body size ratios) and the community/ecosystem has function (productivity, fluxes). Predicting how communities of many species will respond to human and natural changes to the environment requires models and experiments that explore the response to multiple stressors at the species, community and ecosystem scales. Models and experiments dealing with multiple, simultaneous forms of stress have the best chance of helping solve global challenges linked to invasive species, habitat fragmentation, extinction, climate change and pollution.

A PhD student on this project will employ mathematical models and/or experiments and data collection to explore the effects of multiple environmental stressors on ecological communities. We have experience working with predators, competitors, productivity, heavy metals and temperature in aquatic and terrestrial systems. Students can focus on ecology, conservation or evolutionary biology. We welcome candidates for projects focused on modelling, experiments or a combination of the two.

Science Graduate School
As a PhD student in one of the science departments at the University of Sheffield, you’ll be part of the Science Graduate School. You’ll get access to training opportunities designed to support your career development by helping you gain professional skills that are essential in all areas of science. You’ll be able to learn how to recognise good research and research behaviour, improve your communication abilities and experience the breadth of technologies that are used in academia, industry and many related careers. Visit to learn more.

Funding Notes

The applicant will need to find funding to cover tuition fees and living expenses

The applicant should have, or expect to gain at least an upper second class degree, or equivalent overseas qualification, in a relevant subject.

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.90

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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