PhD Studentship - Mathematical Modelling of the Effect of Temperature Stress on Crop Fertility

University of Nottingham - Mathematical Sciences

Location: University Park

Supervisors: Professor John King (Mathematical Sciences), Professor Zoe Wilson (Biosciences)

Do you have a passion for sustainability?

Would you like to apply mathematical research to help improve resource security?

Modelling and Analytics for a Sustainable Society (MASS) is a Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships programme at the University of Nottingham that aims to tackle the ongoing global problems of food shortages, water scarcity and insufficient clean energy by using mathematics to help understand and optimise resource use through predictive modelling and statistical analysis.

Increased temperatures during flowering have extreme affects on pollen development and thus reproductive success and yield in plants. It has been predicted that this may be the key factor in determining future productivity for many crops, particularly in the temperate cereals such as wheat and barley. This project will model the effects of temperature changes on reproductive success, focusing in particular on the impact this may have on yields for wheat.

It will also explore the influence of this temperature stress on the molecular pathways regulating pollen development by modelling of how the dynamic changes in hormone levels and gene expression are influenced by elevated temperature.

For more information, including details of other available research projects, please visit:

The Leverhulme Doctoral Scholars, who will be based in the new £7m Mathematical Sciences Building, will be exposed to an outstanding and vibrant research environment in mathematics, resource science, engineering and social sciences, with excellent opportunities for international engagement. At the end of their PhD, the Scholars will be eligible to apply for an additional one-year post-doctoral prize, funded by The University of Nottingham, to help establish their independent research careers.

Summary:The scholarships are for four years and will cover PhD tuition fees for UK/EU students, plus a tax-free stipend of £14,296 per annum (2016/17 rate). While the scholarships may be held by students of all nationalities, the Leverhulme Trust has a particular interest in supporting UK or EU students. International students would be expected to cover the difference between international and UK/EU tuition fees (currently approximately £9,500 per annum).

Eligibility:Appropriately motivated students should have, or expect to obtain, a first-class or good 2:1 honours degree and/or a distinction or high merit at MSc level in Mathematics or a subject with a strong mathematical component (e.g. physics, engineering, computer science).

Apply:Please visit the MASS web page and identify up to three projects of interest. Then apply via the University of Nottingham application page, using the personal statement section to indicate that you are applying to the “Mathematics for A Sustainable Society” programme, making sure to list your preferred projects, and uploading a CV of no more than two pages.

Studentships are available from September 2017 and will remain open until filled, early application is encouraged.

For any enquiries please email:

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Midlands of England