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The evolution of wing shape and flight in mimetic butterflies


Project Description

The evolution of flight is one of the main drivers of insect success and
diversification. Wing shape is important for aerodynamic performance, but may
also evolve in response to non-aerodynamic factors such as sexual selection,
thermoregulation, intra and/or interspecific signaling (e.g. mimicry). In this PhD
project you will study the evolution of wing shape and flight in ithomiine
butterflies, thought to be the main drivers of several mimicry rings in the
Neotropics.

This is a multidisciplinary project involving tropical fieldwork, high-throughput
sequencing, and the analysis of video and morphometric data using a
phylogenetic framework, offering high training value. Fieldwork will be carried
out in Panama at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, with the
possibility of additional work in Ecuador and/or Colombia.

Funding Notes

This NERC ACCE DTP studentship is fully funded for 3.5 years in the first instance, and students must complete their PhD in four years. The studentship covers: (i) a tax-free annual stipend at the standard Research Council rate (£15,009 for 2019-2020, but typically increases annually in line with inflation), (ii) research costs, and (iii) tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. You can extend your funding period for up to 6 months by applying to a 3-month placement and 3-month writing up period for a publication.

References

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Students with, or expecting to gain, at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply. The interdisciplinary nature of this programme means that we welcome applications from students with backgrounds in any relevant subject that provides the necessary skills, knowledge and experience for the DTP, including environmental, biological, chemical, mathematical, physical and social sciences.

Related Subjects

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.37

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

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