PhD Studentship: Drivers of Ocean Movement Patterns in Round Island Petrels (GILLJ_U18BOU)

University of East Anglia - School of Biological Sciences

Funding for: Commonwealth students

Supervisor: Primary supervisor: Jennifer Gill. Secondary supervisor: Dr Simon Butler

Start Date: October 2018

Project description: Seabirds undertake incredible journeys across the ocean, and our understanding of their movements is being transformed by advances in technology. For some populations, sufficient individual have been tracked to allow us to explore the ecological processes involved in these large-scale movements, and the consequences for impacts of human activities such as fishing, pollution and climate change that are transforming the marine environment.

Round Island petrels have been the subject of a study by the Zoological Society of London in collaboration with the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation and National Parks and Conservation Service (Government of Mauritius) since 2009. These petrels breed at a single colony (Round Island), 23 km off Mauritius, and ZSL studies have shown that this is a three-way hybrid complex consisting of one species from the Atlantic (P. arminjoniana) and at least two from the Pacific (P. heraldica & P. neglecta).

The migratory routes of over 200 individual Round Island petrels have been tracked with geolocators, and this BOU-funded studentship, supervised by researchers at UEA and ZSL, will use these data to explore the factors influencing the extraordinary levels of individual variation in ocean movements of these birds and the implications for the demography and conservation of the species.

Person specification: BSc in Ecological, Biological or Environmental Sciences. The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1

Funding notes: This PhD studentship is funded by The British Ornithologists’ Union.  Funding is available to applicants from Commonwealth countries only, and comprises tuition fees and project costs for 3 years, and an annual stipend (starting at £14,990 in Year 1) for 3.5 years (42 months).

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

South East England