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PhD Opportunities

This lists details the PhD projects that we are aware of. They are by no means exhaustive and the institutions listed, and others, may well be offering additional projects. Further details for many of these projects are already available on institutional websites. Note that application deadlines can be as early as January, and interviews usually take place during the period January-April.

To add a PhD opportunity please use our online form: Add a PhD Opportunity.

Notices with expiry dates before this date are not shown.
You may filter by the project funding statues.
Institution: The Natural History Museum
Supervisor(s): Dr Imran Rahman (The Natural History Museum), Dr Andrew Meade (University of Reading), Dr Chris Venditti (University of Reading), Dr Tim Ewin (The Natural History Museum), Dr Frankie Dunn (University of Oxford).
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: The Cambrian explosion was a pivotal episode in the history of life. Diverse and distinctive animals appear in the fossil record across this interval, with nearly all the major groups of living animals making their first appearances by the end of the period. It is widely agreed that rapid evolutionary change occurred during the Cambrian (~539 to 485 million years ago), but the pace and duration of this diversification event remain unclear. More information...
Expiry Date: Monday, February 26, 2024
Institution: Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
Supervisor(s): Prof. Duncan Mcilroy Memorial University of Newfoundland
Funding Status: Funding is in place for this project
Description: The new Inner Meadow Ediacaran locality in Conception Bay, only an hour drive from St. John’s, contains a dense diverse assemblage of the rangeomorphs Primocandelabrum, Charnia gracilis, Charnia sp. and related taxa; several of which are new/undescribed taxa. The site was discovered in 2022 at the edge of a small coastal community and partly exposed in 2023. We will conduct the remaining excavations in 2024 to expose the surface from beneath a layer of soil- who know what we will find! More information...
Expiry Date: Friday, March 1, 2024
Institution: Universität Hamburg (Germany)
Supervisor(s): Dr. William J. Foster (Universität Hamburg) Prof. Jörn Peckmann (Universität Hamburg)
Funding Status: Funding is in place for this project
Description: The candidate will investigate changes in the abundances of microfossils, more specifically foraminifera, across the Permian-Triassic transition using newly collected material. Depending on the applicants experience and interests this can, however, be a different microfossil group of organisms (e.g., ostracods). Changes in the composition of microfossils provides information on changes in the eukaryote community that can also be used to infer the ecological impacts of environmental changes on marine ecosystems. More information...
Expiry Date: Friday, March 15, 2024
Institution: Institute for Geology, University of Hamburg
Supervisor(s): Dr. Zhiyong Lin (Institute for Geology, University of Hamburg ), Prof. Dr. Stefan Weyer (Institute of Mineralogy, University of Hannover), Prof. Dr. Jörn Peckmann (Institute for Geology, University of Hamburg).
Funding Status: Funding is in place for this project
Description: We are offering a position for one researcher to address the question whether aragonite forming at marine methane seeps records the molybdenum isotopic composition of seawater. The position is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) for 3 years. The candidate will be member of the working group Geology in the Earth System. The project will be carried out jointly with the Geochemistry group of the Institute of Mineralogy, University of Hannover, led by Stefan Weyer. The successful candidate will benefit from a vibrant research environment and an interdisciplinary team. More information...
Expiry Date: Friday, March 29, 2024
Institution: The Open University
Supervisor(s): Dr Tom Stubbs (The Open University) Dr Luke Mander (The Open University)
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: Tetrapod animals (amphibians, mammals, reptiles, birds) have incredible modern and extinct biodiversity. This is reflected by both species numbers and exceptional variation in morphology and ecology; everything from frogs to dinosaurs. All tetrapods share a basic body plan and many of the same structural skeletal components. Evolutionary processes acting on these flexible components drive variation across geological time and the Tree of Life. This project aims to understand and quantify these processes, with an emphasis on evolutionary flexibility, disparity, directionality, and tempo. More information...
Expiry Date: Sunday, March 31, 2024
Institution: University of Zurich
Supervisor(s): Elke Schneebeli (University of Zurich, Switzerland) Evelyn Kustatscher (Museum of Nature South Tyrol, Italy)
Funding Status: Funding is in place for this project
Description: Earth history is rich in examples of extreme climatic changes. The Carnian Pluvial Episode (CPE) ~234–232 Ma ago was one such event, which caused minor extinctions but major ecological changes, and initiated the evolution and radiation of modern plant families, including bennettitaleans, modern More information...
Expiry Date: Monday, April 1, 2024
Institution: University of Leeds
Supervisor(s): Dr Tracy Aze (University of Leeds); Dr Eleanor John (University of Cardiff); Prof Paul Pearson (UCL); Prof Sandra Piazolo (University of Leeds)
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: Project Summary Planktonic foraminifera are single-celled marine protists that build a calcium carbonate (calcite) shell, which is readily preservable in deep sea marine sediments. They have existed for ~150 million years, are found in all our global oceans, and have one of the best species-level fossil records known to science. Consequently, they are widely employed for palaeoenvironmental and biostratigraphic research and are increasingly becoming a model system for macroevolutionary analysis. More information...
Expiry Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2024
Institution: University of Leeds
Supervisor(s): Prof Paul Wignall and Dr Tracy Aze (University of Leeds)
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: The longest delay: the slow recovery from the Hangenberg mass extinction More information...
Expiry Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2024
Institution: University of Leeds
Supervisor(s): Prof Benjamin Mills (University of Leeds), Dr Alex Krause, Dr Andrew Rushby (UCL/Birkbeck), Dr Christopher Colose (NASA)
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: The list of ‘potentially Earth-like’ rocky exoplanets in the galaxy continues to grow, and recent instrumental advances are paving the way to the analysis of their atmospheric compositions. But which planets should we study in more detail? Are planets larger or smaller than Earth more likely to host complex (e.g. multicellular or eukaryotic) life? Should we be looking around stars larger or smaller than our own Sun? Do planets need to be of a certain age before complex life becomes possible? More information...
Expiry Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2024
Institution: University of Leeds
Supervisor(s): Prof Natasha Barlow, Dr Amy McGuire (University of Leeds), Prof Christopher Lane
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: Models of future climate change are, for the most part, informed by observational data spanning the last c.150 years – a period that has seen only limited climatic variability. To test our long-term projections of Earth system responses we exploit the geological record. Previous climatically warm periods, e.g. the Last Interglacial (LIG; 130-116 ka), provide natural laboratories to study landscape and ecosystem responses to warmer-than-present conditions. More information...
Expiry Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2024

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