About the Project
likely to hibernate in cooler temperatures. Insectivorous bats that hibernate in unpredictable environments can show plasticity in their thermoregulatory responses and behaviour.
This interdisciplinary studentship will use a natural experiment of bat hibernaculas in different environments in Portugal to investigate the winter thermoregulatory physiology of bats and how it affects immune function and virus load. Given that winter temperatures in the UK are predicted to rise over the next few decades, it is important to understand how changes in hibernation are likely to impact viral load and prevalence in bats.
We are looking for a candidate with a strong background in biological sciences and a keen interest in physiology and interdisciplinary research to develop the following objectives:
1. Use field physiological approaches to quantify differences in torpor length and depth and physiological
status of bats in hibernacula in warmer Mediterranean versus cooler Atlantic regions.
2. Use flow cytometry and blood enzyme assays to determine impacts of changes in hibernation patterns on
3. Use molecular approaches to assess differences in virus load and prevalence between hibernating and
To be eligible for a fully-funded studentship, you must meet both the academic and residence criteria.
A fully-funded four year SWBio DTP studentship will cover
• a stipend* at the standard Research Council UK rate; currently £15,285 per annum for 2020-2021
• research and training costs
• tuition fees (at the standard Research Councils UK rate)
• additional funds to support fieldwork, conferences and a 3-month internship
Please refer to the regulations or Annex 1 of the Research Council Training Grant Guide to confirm that you meet the residence criteria for a fully-funded studentship. Any further queries in relation to residency must be directed to the institution that you are applying to.
* An enhanced stipend is available for students with a recognised veterinary degree qualification (£23,164 per annum for 2019-2020). There may also be enhanced stipends associated with projects that have a CASE partner (CASE projects are highlighted as *CASE in the project lists).
 Burton & Reichman 1999, Func.
 Wojciechowski et al. 2007, Comp.
Biochem. Phys. A 147:828-840
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