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The impact of livestock on parasite transmission in communities of African savanna herbivores

  • Full or part time
    Dr J Bro-Jorgensen
    Prof A Fenton
  • Application Deadline
    Wednesday, January 09, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Background: With a growing human population, wildlife in sub-Saharan Africa is under intensifying pressure from human activities. On savannas, herbivores increasingly share their pastures with livestock but the ecological consequences of coexistence remain poorly understood. A particular knowledge gap relates to the effect of livestock presence on patterns of parasite transmission. The student will conduct fieldwork in Kenya to collect primary data on parasite infection in herbivores, and and subsequently analyse the data to explore patterns of livestock-wildlife transmission. The project is linked to HORN, a multi-partner training and research programme focusing on One Health in the Horn of Africa. Confidence in leading fieldwork in Africa (ideally backed up by evidence) and lab experience in fecal egg counts and/or coprocultures would be advantageous but are not essential.

Objectives:
(1) To quantify the impact of livestock presence on parasite transmission in an African savannah system
(2) Use this insight to make recommendations for both conservation management and livestock production

Funding Notes

Competitive funding of tuition fee, research costs and stipend (£14,777 tax-free, 2018-19) from the NERC Doctoral Training Partnership ACCE, View Website. ACCE – a collaboration between the Universities of Sheffield, Liverpool, and York – is the only dedicated ecology/evolution/conservation Doctoral Training Partnership in the UK.

Applications (CV, letter of application, 2 referees) by email to , deadline: January 9 2019. Interviews in or after the week commencing: 11th February 2019. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed for only one project from the ACCE partnership.

This project is also available to self-funded students. A fees bursary may be available.

References

Meise, K., Franks, D. W., & Bro-Jørgensen, J. (2018). Multiple adaptive and non-adaptive processes determine responsiveness to heterospecific alarm calls in African savannah herbivores. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 285:20172676.

Payne, B. L., & Bro-Jørgensen, J. (2016) Disproportionate climate-induced range loss forecast for the most threatened antelopes. Current Biology 26:1200-1205.

Fenton, A., Streicker, D. G., Petchey, O. L., & Pedersen, A.B. (2015) Are all hosts created equal? Partitioning host species contributions to parasite persistence in multihost communities. American Naturalist 186:610-22.

Streicker, D., Fenton, A., & Pedersen, A. B. (2013) Differential sources of host species heterogeneity influence the transmission and control of multi-host parasites. Ecology Letters 16, 975-984.

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