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The microbial ecology of the alpine in a changing winter climate

   Department of Environment and Geography

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  Dr R Mills, Prof T Helgason, Dr Rebecca Yahr, Dr Vincent Jassey  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Winter conditions are changing, with rapid reductions in northern-hemisphere snowcover. This is of huge importance for alpine ecosystems, which are disproportionately biodiverse, and considered a sentinel for climate change due to observed rapid changes in plant communities. However, belowground diversity and biogeochemistry of soil organisms is poorly reconciled, hindering our ability to predict the impacts of change to the whole ecosystem. This project will explore snow-cover gradients and how they shape the microbial ecology of the European alpine. It will ask how we can predict the impacts of change through a combination of exciting field surveys and sampling, interrogation of the microbial community, and an in-situ transplantation experiment.

Are you motivated to be part of an exciting blend of microbial ecology, network modelling and field ecology in the high alpine mountains of Europe, plus work with a truly international team of colleagues? If so, you’ll have the opportunity to become trained in cutting-edge techniques of community analysis, gain valuable skills in soil and ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry, contribute to the pressing issue of the climate emergency through novel scientific methods, and spend time in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. You are curious, keen for adventure, motivated to work in an exciting cross-disciplinary manner, and want to spend time in the outdoors. For details, email [Email Address Removed] and check out @mountainecology

The ACCE DTP is committed to recruiting extraordinary future scientists regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or career pathway to date. We understand that commitment and excellence can be shown in many ways and have built our recruitment process to reflect this. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, particularly those underrepresented in science, who have curiosity, creativity and a drive to learn new skills.

Funding Notes

This project is part of the ACCE NERC Doctoral Training Programme in Ecology and Evolution. Appointed candidates will be fully-funded for 3.5 years. The funding includes:

Tax-free annual UKRI stipend (£15,285 for 2020/21)
UK tuition fees (£4,473 for 2021/22)
Research support and training charges (RSTC)

International candidates (including EU) will be considered however they will need to have adequate funds to meet the difference in tuition fees. International tuition fees for 2021 entry is £22,250.

Not all projects will be funded; a limited number of candidates will be appointed via a competitive process.


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 biological, chemical, and/or physical science, or students with mathematical backgrounds who are interested in using their skills in addressing ecology and evolution questions. If English is not your first language, you will need to meet the minimum entry requirements for your country. Please check our website: https://www.york.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/apply/international/english/

START DATE: 1st October 2021
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