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PhD Studentship: Predators and lowland wading birds: from models to management

Bournemouth University - Faculty of Science and Technology

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bournemouth
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: From £18,622 maintenance grant, per annum
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 13th May 2024
Closes: 31st May 2024

Lead Supervisor name: Professor Richard Stillman

Project description

This project will give conservation organisations knowledge and tools to conserve key endangered bird species by creating the first multispecies bird-predator model to predict predation impacts and the effectiveness of alternative management regimes to minimise these impacts. Such species are currently threatened by high predation pressure and require urgent evidence-informed conservation action.

Many bird species which use lowland landscapes, such as Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata) and Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa), are experiencing significant population declines; for example, Curlew numbers in the UK declined by 48% between 1995 and 2020. Indeed, the scale of the decline in Curlew numbers has led to conservationists arguing that it should now be considered “the UK’s highest conservation priority bird species”, requiring urgent conservation action to prevent the extinction of this iconic species. These ground-nesting birds face high levels of predation from mid-trophic level predators (termed ‘mesopredators’) such as Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) and Carrion Crow (Corvus corone), which limits their ability to raise sufficient young to allow viable populations of these birds. The efforts of conservation organisations to saving these species will be ineffective unless there is a marked improvement in (i) available knowledge of the drivers and impacts of predation, and (ii) the ability to test solutions to address the impacts of predation.

What does the funded studentship include?

A fully-funded Studentship includes a maintenance grant of £18,622 per year to contribute towards living expenses during the course of your research, as well as a fee waiver for 36 months. Associated costs, such as for fieldwork and conference attendance, will also be met under the Studentship.

Eligibility criteria

The BU PhD and MRes Studentships are open to UK, EU and International students. Candidates for a PhD Studentship should demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD in 4 years and must demonstrate:

Outstanding academic potential as measured normally by either a 1st class honours degree (or equivalent Grade Point Average (GPA) or a Master’s degree with distinction or equivalent

An IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent) for candidates for whom English is not their first language and this must be evidenced at point of application.

Additional Eligibility:

In addition to satisfying minimum entry criteria, BU will look closely at the qualities, skills and background of each candidate and what they can bring to their chosen research project in order to ensure successful completion.

Applicants will be asked to submit an online application form and a proposal (approximately 1500 words) outlining their understanding of the project for which they are applying, the approach they would envisage taking and what qualities they will bring to the research community.

Closing date: The closing date for applications is 31 May 2024

For further information on how to apply click the ‘Apply’ button above or email pgradmissions@bournemouth.ac.uk

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