PhD opportunities within the Modelling, Evidence and Policy group

New PhD opportunities in the Modelling, Evidence and Policy research group.

Are you interested in undertaking a PhD project within the MEP research group? If so, now is a great time to consider applying! We are currently advertising a wide range of funded projects through our Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Doctoral Training Partnerships (One Planet and IAPETUS2). In joining the MEP group, you will work alongside our existing PhD students, who are studying topics as diverse as understanding emerging bee diseases, the impact of roads on rainforests, and technologies for monitoring tree health. The group has a very active researcher community, including seminars, journal club, coffee times and weekly group research meetings, and has strong links to policy, industry and end-user stakeholders who help to inform and apply our research. Many of the projects below are CASE studentships, meaning you would have the opportunity to work alongside stakeholder partners, including undertaking a placement. More information on research within the group can be found on the MEP website:

The NERC DTPs are training partnerships which provide the opportunity to be part of a wider cohort of like-minded researchers across a number of institutions, as well as a delivering a dedicated training programme. Eligibility criteria and application process vary between the different schemes. Please check the website of the scheme (given below) for details. For further details on specific projects, please contact the lead supervisor directly.

Available PhD projects:

NERC One Planet ( ). DEADLINE: 18th January 2021.

Projects based in MEP:

  • Interventions to reduce the impact of climate change and other environmental stresses on oak health.

Supervisors: Dr Rachel Gaulton, Dr Roy Sanderson, CASE partners: Woodland Heritage and Action Oak initiative.,%20’Reducing%20the%20impact%20of%20climate%20change%20and%20other%20environmental%20stresses%20on%20oak%20tree%20health’.pdf

  • Identifying hotpots of riparian invasive species colonisation and spread

Supervisor: Zarah Pattison, Clare Fitzsimmons and Rinke Vingenog (Northumbria University).,%20’Identifying%20hotpots%20of%20riparian%20invasivespecies%20colonisation%20and%20spread’.pdf

Co-supervised by MEP (based at Northumbria University):

  • Astro-turfing the city: quantifying the impact of artificial lawns on the structure and function of urban ecosystems

Supervisors: Mark Goddard (Northumbria University), Miranda Prendergast-Miller (Northumbria University), Rachel Gaulton. CASE Partner: Royal Horticultural Society.,%20’Astro-turfing%20the%20city%20-%20quantifying%20the%20impact%20of%20artificial%20lawns%20on%20the%20structure%20and%20function%20of%20urban%20ecosystems’.pdf

  • Quantifying the importance of tree floral resources for pollinators in urban landscapes.

Supervisors: Katherine Baldock (Northumbria University), Mark Goddard (Northumbria University), Darren Evans, Matthew Pound (Northumbria University), Rachel Gaulton. CASE Partner: British Beekeepers Association,%20’Quantifying%20the%20importance%20of%20tree%20floral%20resources%20for%20pollinators%20in%20urban%20landscapes’.pdf

NERC IAPETUS2 ( DEADLINE: 8th January 2021.

Based in MEP:

  • Biological invasions in ancient woodlands

Supervisors: Zarah Pattison, Aileen Mill and Nigel Willby (Stirling University). CASE Partner: Woodland Trust.

  • Invasion pathways of aquatic invasive non-native species using the canal network.

Supervisors: Mark Shirley, Nigel Willby (Stirling University), Zarah Pattison, Olaf Booy (APHA-INNS)

  • Understanding the functional relationship between krill, the krill fishery and demersal sub-Antarctic fish populations.

Supervisors: Dr William Reid (Newcastle University), Dr Martin Collins and Prof Eugene Murphy (British Antarctic Survey) and Dr Jason Newton (Glasgow University). CASE and end-user partners: Aker Biomarine and Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

  • Predicting future invasion impacts: Indicators and models to measure success in “bending the curve” of species accumulation.

Supervisors: Aileen Mill, Bethan Purse (UK CEH), Helen Roy (UK CEH), Olaf Booy (GB Non-native Species secretariat).

Co-supervised by MEP:

  • Trophic structure and isotopic turnover rates of Antarctic benthic marine invertebrates: assessing temporal variability in benthic food webs and the response of cold-adapted species to dietary change.

Supervisors: Dr Ben Wigham and Dr William Reid (Newcastle University), Prof Llyod Peck (British Antarctic Survey) and Dr Jason Newton (Glasgow University).

  • From farmland to wildland: an ecological journey

Supervisors: Nigel Willby (Stirling University) and Zarah Pattison