Oxford Brookes University Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Oxford Brookes University
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Department of Biological and Medical Sciences
3 year full time studentship
Eligibility: Only UK/EU applicants can apply
Closing date for applications: 15th March 2015
Start Date: 14th September 2015
Value p.a.: Bursary of £14,057 for 2015/16 & fees
EU Applicants
Require IELTS certificate minimum score level 6 in each of the four areas of reading, writing, listening
and speaking with overall minimum score 7.0. Or undergraduate degree awarded by UK university
both not older than two years.
Applicants required a good Honours degree level equivalent to a UK degree BSc (minimum 2.1 or
Supervisors Professor Tim Shreeve and Dr Leonardo Dapporto
Research Title:- Butterfly traits and phylogeography; the responses of evolutionary lineages
and environmental change
Functional ecology is a prominent field of biological research. By analyzing communities on the basis
of both phylogenetic structure and ecological traits of the component species fundamental information
on how ecosystems and communities are established and how they respond to environmental
changes can be obtained. Comparison between objective taxonomy (as generated by phylogenetic
data) and variations in functional traits can now be undertaken due to the increasing amount of
sequence data and information on functional traits. Whilst patterns can be discerned, the
fundamental issue is understanding the role of functional traits in determining evolution and changing
distributions within related taxa; responses are not uniform within taxa, whatever the level of
evolutionary similarity.
The aims of this project are to:
1) Compile two unprecedented databases of COI diversity and species ecological traits for European
Nymphalidae at the continental scale. This will involve using existing information and collecting new
information for a few species, where there are known gaps in the existing data.
2) Compare, for the first time, phylogeographic structures and species ecological traits for a diverse
taxon group, with the final aim of extracting rules that link genetic spatial structures with species'
functional ecology and geographic characteristics. Part of the output will include an analysis of which
fundamental traits govern particular responses to environmental change and which evolutionary
lineages respond in particular ways to specific environmental changes. The project will involve an
international team where the Brookes University unit will collaborate with the Butterfly Diversity and
Evolution lab in the IBE (Institut of Biologia Evolutiva, CSIC) of Roger Vila in Barcelona and with the
University of Guelph (Canada) with whom the Director of Studies and Primary Investigator have existing
links. In addition to gaining entomological field skills, the successful candidate will become adept with
methods of phylogenetic analyses and using environmental information within GIS to determine the
response of species to changes of climate and land-use.
The successful applicant will be required to undertake up to 6 hours undergraduate teaching per week
during semesters without further remuneration. This may include supporting the teaching of statistics.
How to apply
Download application formhttp://www.hls.brookes.ac.uk/images/research/phd-studentship-application-form-jan-14.doc
Applications by email to the following address:
[email protected]
Additionally submit a CV and if appropriate IELTS test score certificate