Anglia Ruskin University ARU Featured PhD Programmes
Anglia Ruskin University ARU Featured PhD Programmes

The temperature dependence of soil food-web structure and energetics


School of Science

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Dr Andrew Barnes , Dr L A Schipper , Dr Charlotte Alster No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
Hamilton New Zealand Biodiversity Ecology Entomology Microbiology

About the Project

We have recently obtained funding to determine the temperature dependence of life. The overall project is exploring temperature responses of enzymes, microbes, soil biogeochemistry, plants, ecosystems and the globe. This PhD will examine how energy fluxes within soil food webs, from microbes to arthropod predators, vary in response to temperature within this broader project. The successful candidate will take advantage of natural belowground temperature gradients adjacent to geothermal hotspots where soil temperature can decline from ~40C to 18C within 20 m. We wish to determine how soil food-web structure and energetics change along geothermal temperature gradients and whether differential thermal responses of soil organisms across trophic levels contribute to changes at the food-web scale. You can find more detailed information about the project here. The position will be based at the University of Waikato, where you will be supervised by Andrew Barnes, Charlotte Alster and Louis Schipper.

Applicants will be independent and highly motivated with:

  • An Honours or MSc degree in a relevant subject (e.g., soil ecology, ecological entomology, environmental (bio)geochemistry,)
  • Experience with lab and/or field experiments
  • Sound skills in analysing data (preferably in R)
  • Excellent communication skills in English (spoken and written)

Closing date: we will begin reviewing applications after the 12th of March 2021 until the position is filled. The position will start after July 2021.

To apply: please send as a single document: 1) a letter of motivation and 2) your CV (including contact information for 2 referees) to Andrew Barnes ([Email Address Removed]). Your letter of motivation should describe why you are specifically interested in this PhD project. 

Please note: we welcome applications from all countries. However, at the time of recruitment, we must be mindful of the border restrictions put in place by the New Zealand government due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While there are currently possibilities for recruiting PhD students internationally, this is a rapidly changing situation that may affect our ability to recruit from overseas.


Funding Notes

Annual stipend for 3 years: $27,500 NZD (plus an additional $6,500 to cover annual fees)


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