Transitions in land use require environmental impact assessments (EIA) to allow decision makers to judge relative costs and benefits of development; part of this process relies on identifying species and what species are at risk. Malaysia represents the highest marine biodiversity in the world, and this includes a large proportion of species that are endemic to small areas, many of which have never been described by science. New species are discovered by scientists every year, but this information is often not transmitted to environmental consultants. In this PhD project, a highly motivated student will describe new species of molluscs known from a sensitive area of mangrove and seagrass beds adjacent to one of the largest land reclamation projects in SE Asia. This project will combine DNA barcoding, comparative morphology, in depth quantitative taxonomic screening, and analysis of long term datasets, to produce a comprehensive database of species and habitat identifications for this site. The student will name new species, but also analyse the taxonomic process in context of the EIA process in under-studied systems, and contribute producing easy-to-use field guides and standards for habitat assessment with both local and regional relevance. This project will be co-supervised with Universiti Putra Malaysia and will include an opportunity to work at our field site in Malaysia.
Only UK and EU students are eligible to apply. Information on eligibility criteria is available from DfE: View Website