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Understanding the impact of the ash dieback invasion of Europe (HALLE20DTP)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, November 25, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The UK is expected to lose the majority of its third most common tree species, ash (Fraxinus excelsior), to the ash dieback fungus (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) and this fungal invasion is estimated to cost Britain £15 billion.

Understanding the interaction between hosts and pathogens is fundamental to the prosperity of our agricultural and wild environments, particularly because climate change is likely to allow pathogens to colonise new regions. The ash dieback system is one in which we can study fungal invasion and co-evolution in a polymorphic host and pathogen and one in which the public are heavily invested.

In this PhD project, you will employ state-of-the-art genome sequencing and analysis technologies to understand pathogen invasion and host resistance in the ash dieback system. The project will involve collecting samples from across the UK as well as sequencing and analysing pathogen data from East Asia.

The project will be jointly supervised by Mark McMullan and Neil Hall at the Earlham Institute and James Brown at the John Innes Centre on the Norwich Research Park, and conducted in close collaboration with researchers from Denmark, China and Japan. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Mark McMullan ().

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 7th, 8th or 9th January 2020.

The NRP DTP offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4-year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three-month professional internship (PIPS) during their study. The internship offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second-class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website:

Funding Notes

For funding eligibility guidance, please visit our website: View Website. Full Studentships cover a stipend (2019/0 rate: £15,009pa), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements.

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