PhD Studentship: Hydrological niche segregation of carnivorous Sundew plants (Drosera spp.) on ombrotrophic bogs: how do they coexist? 

Loughborough University

Reference number: CENTA-LU9

Start date: October 1st 2017

Closing date: January 23rd 2017

Interview date: Week beginning February 13th 2017

Supervisors:

Primary supervisor: Dr Jon Millett

Secondary supervisor: Dr David Ryves

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship funded by the NERC CENTA Doctoral Training Partnership to start in October 2017. The project will be based in the Department of Geography at Loughborough University. http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/geography/

Project Detail:

How do different plant species coexist? Hydrological Niche Segregation (HNS)—the partitioning of species due to spatial or temporal variability in hydrology, or differences in water-use strategies—provides one potential answer. HNS facilitates species coexistence across a range of ecosystems, but important questions remain. Thus, understanding of the mechanisms that control the diversity of ecosystems is still poor. This project will investigate hydrological niche segregation (HNS) of three carnivorous Sundews (Drosera sp.) growing on ombrotrophic (rain-fed) bogs.

This project will address the following questions: 1. How does the moisture gradient affect the distribution of these species and how do other factors modify these distributions? 2. What are the characteristics of the hydrological niche of each species and is this altered by plant-plant interactions? 3. How does location on the hydrological gradient influence the plants, and are these location effects altered by plant-plant interactions? 4. What are the trade-offs that enable each species to occupy their respective hydrological niche? The answers to these questions will contribute to their conservation through a fuller understanding of habitat requirements, while also tackling the fundamental ecological question of how multiple species can co-exist.

 This PhD will study Drosera species in-situ on bogs in the UK (and potentially further afield, e.g. Sweden) and in ex-situ experimental studies. We are looking for an excellent ecology, environmental science or geography graduate to produce high quality science. They will address questions relevant to carnivorous plant research, bog ecology and biodiversity science.

Find out more:

For further information on this project, please see the main CENTA website (http://www.centa.org.uk/themes/evolution/lb6/) or contact Dr Jon Millett (J.Millett@lboro.ac.uk).

Entry requirements:

Applicants will normally need to hold, or expect to gain, at least a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in Geography, Ecology or Environmental Science. A Master’s degree and/or experience in a related area associated with the research will be an advantage.

Funding information:

The studentship is for 3.5 years, which is intended to start October 2017. It provides a tax-free stipend of £14,296 per annum (2016/17 rate) for the duration plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and a research training support grant of £8,000.  Due to funding restrictions, only students with UK/EU fee status will be considered for this opportunity. For further information on studentship eligibility, see RCUK Terms & Conditions.

Contact details:

Name: Dr Jon Millett

Email address: J.Millett@lboro.ac.uk

Telephone number: +44(0)1509 222739

How to apply:

To apply:

Please quote CENTA-LU9 when completing your online application.

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

Midlands of England