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Testing descriptors for non-market valuation of benefits from biodiversity


School of Biological Sciences

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Prof R Scarpa , Prof M Emmerson No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Total biodiversity conservation values are based on individual values. Biodiversity is a difficult concept for most people to relate to, and may mean different things to different categories of scientists, for example to social scientists and natural scientists. This PhD is about the development of a common terminology of biodiversity values across scientific fields. The case study will be centred on the CBESS project, which involves partners at the Universities of Bangor, Cambridge, Essex, Southampton, and St. Andrews. This CBESS project will simultaneously quantify the economic values of biodiversity and ecosystem services across a gradient of spatial scales, with a special focus on coastal bird colonies.

In particular, the successful PhD candidate will examine how to best integrate the measurements of biodiversity richness used in ecology and explore how these can be best described to members of the community so as to enable single individuals to express an economic value, such as a willingness to pay, for alternative levels of species richness at different scales (beach, catchment, region, nation). The aim of the PhD will be to develop a catalogue of descriptors of biodiversity richness suitable to be used in non-market valuation surveys and in other non-market valuation methods. Selected elements of this catalogue will then be subject to testing in a survey or alternative valuation study.

For an application form and full details on how to apply, please visit https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/user/u_login.php. APPLICANTS SHOULD ALSO SEND A COMPLETED APPLICATION FORM, CV AND A COVERING LETTER INCLUDING A ONE PAGE A4 SHEET ANSWERING THE FOLLOWING TWO QUESTIONS:
(a) Why this PhD?
(b) Where would you take this project?
Applications should be sent to Mr Peter Millar, Medical Biology Centre, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7BL, County Antrim, Northern Ireland or via email to [Email Address Removed].
Closing date for applications: 5pm, 31st October 2012

Applicants should have good numeracy skills and be highly motivated, intellectually inquisitive and hard-working individuals with a minimum of a first class or upper second class degree in Economics or Environment-related subject (biology, environmental sciences, etc.).

Masters qualification will be welcomed, especially in economics. Preference will be given to candidates with some experience with the investigation of the relationships between biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and nonmarket valuation. It is considered advantageous, but not essential, for candidates to have some familiarity with ecological economics, data base management and mathematical modelling. A full and clean driver’s license is essential.

The tertiary supervisor on this project is Dr Nessa O'Connor.

Funding Notes

The studentship will have a three year duration and will cover full-time UK/EU tuition fees plus a stipend of £13,590 per annum for UK domiciled applicants. An award to an applicant domiciled in the European Community and from outside the UK covers only the cost of fees. The position is open to all applicants, although candidates not domiciled in the EU are required to pay the difference between UK/EU and overseas tuition fees (approximately £9,450 per annum). See http://www.delni.gov.uk/index/further-and-higher-education/higher-education/studentfinance/he-student-info-postgrad-finance.htm for further details on eligibility and funding.

References

TEEB (2010) The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: Mainstreaming the Economics of Nature: A synthesis of the approach, conclusions and recommendations of TEEB.

TEEB (2010) A Quick Guide to The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Local and Regional Policy Makers.

TEEB (2010) The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity Report for Business - Executive Summary.


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