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Warming impacts on ectotherms: new physiological perspectives on global climate change

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  • Full or part time
    Dr A Hirst
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

A major challenge for ecologists is to understand how organisms will respond to climate change.

A fully funded PhD studentship is available to work on this topic. Not only do we need to observe and quantify change in the natural environment, but we need an ability to predict future responses based upon the mechanisms that underpin them, including physiological responses, shifts in phenology (timing of life history events) and the distributional envelopes of species. This is especially important In cold-blooded organisms (ectotherms) as the temperature of the environments impacts all aspects of their vital rates and pace of life. One of the most taxonomically widespread rules seen across ectotherms is the temperature-size rule: this describes how species tend to produce smaller adults in the warm. You will explore these key aspects, developing and testing new theories relating aspects of body size, shape, metabolic scaling and plasticity to environmental change, utilising data-mining and through experiments on marine, freshwater and terrestrial species.

We seek applications from students with a strong interest in the ecology of invertebrates and in ecophysiology. Ideally you should be able to demonstrate ability and experience in statistics, and previous use of the package R would be an advantage (although appropriate courses will be provided). You will receive all the necessary training, including in data analysis, experimentation, meta-analysis and statistics. We have a vibrant aquatic ecology group within the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at Queen Mary, and pride ourselves in the training and supportive environment we offer.

The project will be supervised by Dr Andrew Hirst while drawing on existing on-going collaborations with Dr David Atkinson (University of Liverpool), and other Universities in the UK and abroad. For more details of the Hirst Lab see:

Queen Mary is a research intensive University and part of the Russell Group. Commencing in October 2016, this studentship is fully funded and not subject to later competitive rounds.

Funding Notes

The studentship will cover tuition fees and provide an annual tax-free maintenance allowance for 3 years at Research Councils UK rates (£16,054 in 2015/16).
A Research Training and Support grant is also provided together with an allowance for travel and conferences.
Foreign nationals can apply. The starting date is October 2016.

How good is research at Queen Mary University of London in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 23.39

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

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