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).
• 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
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