Applied Ecology Research Group (AERG)
Proposed supervisory team
Dr Alvin Helden
Dr Tom Ings
Several other members of Biology staff with interest in this subject area could be part of the team e.g., Dr Peter Brown and Dr Sarah Hart.
Global Change Ecology
Summary of the research project
The National Pollinator Strategy was published by the UK Government in Nov 2014, in recognition of the important economic and biological role of pollinators (Defra, 2014). Broadly speaking, its aims are to increase public awareness and scientific knowledge of UK pollinators and to take action that will reverse recent declines in their populations. One particular focus of the strategy is to modify habitat management in both urban and rural areas, to provide better foraging and nesting resources for bees and other pollinators. However the insects that act as pollinators are only part of the wider invertebrate community. There are very many other species, with different ecological roles, including those that form the vitally important ecosystem services of decomposition and pest control. This project would set out to investigate the effects of implementing the National Pollinator Strategy on theses non-target invertebrates, and in particular focus on the ecosystem services they provide. It is likely that this national strategy is beneficial to wider groups but this ought to be measured, rather than assumed. Working with landowners and managers that are implementing pollinator friendly management, the biodiversity of other invertebrates will be measured. Experiments will be set out that test rates of decomposition and natural enemy (predation and parasitism) activity. The overall aim of the project would be to use the findings to provide feedback to the National Pollinator Strategy and if necessary to provide recommendations to modification of management practice to maintain support to for other invertebrates while maintaining its positive focus on pollinators.
Where you'll study
This project is self-funded.
Details of studentships for which funding is available are selected by a competitive process and are advertised on our jobs website as they become available.
If you wish to be considered for this project, you will need to apply for our Biology PhD. In the section of the application form entitled 'Outline research proposal', please quote the above title and include a research proposal.