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PhD Studentship: Determining Management Strategies to Control Ash Dieback Disease Through Molecular and Environmental Interactions

University of Salford

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Salford
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: £15,943 stipend p.a.
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 4th October 2018
Closes: 30th October 2018

The studentship is co-funded by the University of Salford Alumni Fund, Rushmore Estate, University of York, Chester Zoo, DEFRA, Natural England, Henry Hoare & Co and The Salisbury Trust. 

Academic Supervisor: Dr Rachael Antwis

Academic Co-Supervisor Dr Stephen Parnell (University of Salford) and Dr Andrea Harper (University of York)

Industrial Supervisor: Andy Poore, Rushmore Estate and Dr Sue Walker, Chester Zoo

The studentship is fully funded and includes: 

  • A fee waiver
  • A stipend of £15,943 p.a. for three and a half years
  • All bench fees and consumable costs
  • Funds specifically allocated for conference travel

Final date for applications: Tuesday 30th October 2018

Interviews will be held on: Monday 12th November 2018

The candidate must be in a position to register for a January 2019 start.

Description:

Invasive plant pathogens increasingly threaten forest trees, endangering associated biodiversity and reducing ecosystem benefits for humans. Strategies are urgently needed to reduce infection rates and increase the resilience of host populations. Europe’s ash trees have been experiencing high mortality from the fungal pathogen Hymenoscophus fraxineus that causes ash dieback disease (ADB) and is now present across the UK. This project will take a holistic approach to identify environmental, host genetic and microbial factors to fully understand the factors that promote resistance to ADB. Based on this, the candidate will work closely with project partners (Rushmore Estate, Chester Zoo, DEFRA, Natural England, Henry Hoare & Co and the Salisbury Trust) to develop a management strategy for ADB that aims to protect our native ash trees.

Candidates:

Candidates should have at least a 2.1 at undergraduate level in a life sciences discipline, and ideally either a Master’s degree or a peer-reviewed publication. The student will receive first-class training in field and laboratory skills, including ecological surveying, next-generation sequencing and other molecular analyses. S/he will also receive training in experimental design and statistical analysis including code-based bioinformatics. S/he will be required to interact with the various project partners through meetings, presentations and reports. This project will require significant field work in southern England with the candidate camping for the majority of the time, therefore prior experience of field work is also desirable. The candidate will also require a full, clean driving license. The student will be required to drive around the whole estate which is huge so would need to have a licence to do this.

Funding Eligibility:

This studentship is only available to students with settled status in the UK, as classified by EPSRC eligibility.  Please visit: https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/help/eligibility/

Enquiries: Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Rachael Antwis via email to r.e.antwis@salford.ac.uk

Prospective students should apply by sending your Curriculum Vitae and supporting statement explaining your interest and suitability for the position as a PDF file to m.watts@salford.ac.uk and r.e.antwis@salford.ac.uk by 5pm on Tuesday 30th October 2018.

   
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