Human-driven changes to the environment have led to predictions that we are entering the sixth mass species extinction event. Despite some local species conservation successes, the overall conservation status of species continues to decline and there is a pressing need for science to contribute strategic guidance on how countries can tackle this challenge. Most of the world’s countries have agreed to do this through the Convention on Biological Diversity and efforts to date indicate that a high level strategic approach is necessary to achieve this. The project will develop a threat-based approach to species conservation by exploring the potential reduction in species extinction risk that could be achieved through mitigation of different threats in a particular location or country. This would allow countries to identify action that could benefit large numbers of species. The student will develop case studies at a range of policy and management relevant spatial scales, such as country and project site, and across geographic regions. There are global species data available that can used to develop this approach, and the project will explore other data sources to enhance the predictive capability of the approach, its spatial resolution and national ownership of the process. The student will develop the ability to conceptualise conservation challenges at global and national scales and identify data needs and sources to address those challenges. They will gain experience of manipulating, curating and analysing large data sets and communicating approaches and findings to policy and management audiences, as well as scientists. They will work closely with a global network of conservation scientists and practitioners, through the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and a suite of countries that have already expressed an interest in this work.
Prerequisites: Essential: Understanding of global species conservation issues; analytical aptitude. Desirable: Good communication skills for working with partners For more information, please contact: Philip McGowan ([email protected]).
Fully funded (3.5 years) PhD studentship awards available for entry September 2019. Each award includes fees (Home/EU), an annual living allowance (£14,777) and a Research Training Support Grant (for travel, consumables, as required).