Fully funded PhD opportunity in pollinator ecology - UK or EU nationals only

Global declines of both wild and managed insect pollinators threaten ecosystem 
function and human food security. Pollinator declines have been specifically 
linked to declines in the abundance and diversity of floral resources, the use 
of agrochemicals, and introduction of novel parasites. We are interested in how 
these changes in the foraging environment, as well as social interactions, 
affect foraging behaviour in UK bumblebees. 

The proposed project would use a new Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)-based insect 
tracking system based on harmonic radar tracking to track individual bumblebees 
while foraging. This study will improve understanding of how farm management 
systems, including crop types, field sizes, and field margins, as well as 
pasture, woodland and other semi-natural areas influence pollinator foraging 
patterns. The data will provide a foundation for modelling the necessary 
quantity, spatial pattern and temporal presence of floral resources in 
agricultural systems to maintain healthy wild pollinator communities.

The successful candidate will have a strong interest in pollinator ecology, 
insect learning, and agro-ecology and have experience piloting UAVs. Experience 
with radio frequency (RF) systems, microcontroller programming, and Geographic 
Information Systems (GIS) will be a significant advantage. For further details 
please contact tonya.lan...@plants.ox.ac.uk.

This project is at the interface between ecology and engineering, and involves 
a collaboration between the Oxford departments of Plant Sciences (Dr Tonya 
Lander) and Engineering (Prof. Chris Stevens).

Student Profile:

•       Have, or be expected to obtain before the project begins, a BSc or 
equivalent in a relevant area (e.g. biology, zoology, environmental science).
•       Experience in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle piloting. 
•       Interest in radio frequency (RF) systems use.
•       Interest in microcontroller programming.
•       High motivation with intellectual curiosity and rigour.
•       Ability to work independently and manage multiple tasks.
•       Excellent oral and written communication skills, including ability to 
present research at national and international symposia.

Apply here: https://www.findaphd.com/search/ProjectDetails.aspx?PJID=94942

Dr Tonya Lander
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow
Department of Plant Sciences
University of Oxford
01865 275 148

University of Oxford Equality and Diversity: http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/eop/
Resources on diversity in STEM: 

Reply via email to