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QUADRAT DTP: Tropical Marine Biodiversity: Solving the taxonomic bottlenecks to environmental impact assessments

Project Description

Transitions in land use require environmental impact assessments (EIA) to allow decision makers to judge relative costs and benefits of development; part of this process relies on identifying species and subsequently determining their risk status. Indonesia represents the highest marine biodiversity in the world, and this includes a large proportion of species that are endemic to small areas, many of which have never been described by science. New species are discovered by scientists every year, but this information is often not transmitted to environmental consultants. In this PhD project, a highly motivated student will investigate molluscs known from sensitive coastal mangroves. This project will combine DNA barcoding, comparative morphology, and in depth quantitative taxonomic screening, to produce a comprehensive database of species for this biodiversity hotspot. Further, the student will model dispersal, connectivity and conduct population viability analyses for a suite of species, and embed this multi-species population modelling in the EIA process for under-studied systems. This project will also contribute to standards for habitat assessment with both local and regional relevance. This project will be co-supervised with the University of Aberdeen and will include an opportunity to work at field sites in Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Start date:

1 October 2020


42 months


Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum of a 2.1 Honours degree in a relevant subject. Applicants with a minimum of a 2.2 Honours degree may be considered providing they have a Distinction at Master’s level.

Application procedure:

• Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast
• State name of the lead supervisor as ‘Name of Proposed Supervisor’ on application
• State ‘QUADRAT DTP’ as Intended Source of Funding
• Select ‘Visit Website’ to apply now

Funding Notes

This project is funded by the NERC QUADRAT-DTP and is available to UK/EU nationals who meet the UKRI eligibility criteria. Please visit View Website for more information.

The studentship provides funding for tuition fees, stipend and a research training and support grant subject to eligibility.

How good is research at Queen’s University Belfast in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 24.40

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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