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Use of remote sensing data to develop behavioural profiles for global change scenarios

Project Description

Project details:

Habitat loss, human encroachment and climate change are affecting biodiversity globally. Understanding how species can survive under increasingly adverse conditions will be key to protecting their persistence. Factors affecting biodiversity, like climate change and anthropogenic impacts, are likely to be more severe in certain areas. Numerous assessments exist to predict the relative impact of these factors across the globe, with these predictions providing an ideal opportunity to investigate how animals may respond behaviourally and physiologically to global challenges. This project will examine animal behaviour and physiology in response to current climate and anthropogenic conditions using remotely sensed data. Using these measured behavioural profiles, the candidate will use predicted global change scenarios to determine how variation in individual ’performance’ will relate to species’ ability to survive in a particular environment. These individual characteristics will provide a novel understanding of multiple species’ responses to current environmental conditions, and provide a new framework to assess the likelihood of future viability. This project brings together diverse fields which include animal physiology, behavioural ecology and distribution modelling.

This project will be supervised by Dr Mike Scantlebury and Dr Nikki Marks (Queen’s University School of Biological Sciences) and Dr Craig Tambling (University of Fort Hare, South Africa).

All applications MUST be submitted through https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/user/u_login.php.

Specific skills/experience required by applicants:

The research will involve interrogation of multiple large data sets which will include details of biotic (e.g. animal behaviour, physiology, life history) and abiotic data (environment, habitat details) which will be used in various computer models. Current species traits and environmental interactions will be examined with a view to predicting future behaviour, movement, and population viability. Use of geo-spatial modelling (e.g. ArcGIS/QGIS) and proficiency in statistics (e.g. R) and knowledge of ecological theory will be required.

All applicants must meet the academic entry requirements: https://www.qub.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate-research/biological-sciences-phd.html#entry

Funding Notes

Only UK and EU students are eligible to apply. Before applying, it is strongly recommended that you read the full information on eligibility criteria available from DfE: View Website.

Please note in particular that not all successful applicants may be eligible to receive a full studentship (i.e. fees and stipend) - please read in detail the Residency and Citizenship requirements in the document linked to above.

How good is research at Queen’s University Belfast in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 24.40

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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