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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: University of Cambridge
Supervisor(s): Dr Neil Davies (University of Cambridge), Dr Alex Liu (University of Cambridge)
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: The Ediacaran Period was a crucial interval for the evolution of metazoan life on Earth. Enigmatic fossils of originally soft-bodied organisms are well known from localities worldwide, and there is strong interest in understanding their biological affinities and the environments in which they lived. More information...
Expiry Date: Thursday, January 3, 2019
Institution: University of Cambridge
Supervisor(s): Dr Neil Davies (University of Cambridge)
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: Amongst many abiotic-biotic feedbacks observable in modern environments, one crucial role is that which plants play in moderating processes and landforms in rivers. Studies into such modern interactions commonly cite a geological observation that ancient rivers left a fundamentally different sedimentary record prior to the evolution of land plants. However, Earth's oldest vegetation was dominated by extinct lineages, with physiological traits and environmental effects that may not fully be analogous to modern flora. More information...
Expiry Date: Thursday, January 3, 2019
Institution: University of Cambridge
Supervisor(s): Dr Neil Davies (University of Cambridge)
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: Mudrock is a crucial geological lithology, both as an archive of sedimentary environments and a regulating component of the Earth system (sequestering chemically-weathered clays). Ongoing research suggests the deposition of mudrock throughout Earth history has not been uniformitarian: the evolution of land plants in the Palaeozoic provided the means of both producing more mud through weathering, and retaining more mud in sedimentary conduits (rivers) through binding and baffling. More information...
Expiry Date: Thursday, January 3, 2019
Institution: Imperial College, London
Supervisor(s): Dr Mark Sutton (Imperial College, London), Dr Phil Mannion (University College, London)
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: The Latitudinal Biodiversity Gradient (LBG), the phenomenon where biodiversity increases along a pole-to-equator transect, is one of the most widely recognized patterns in macroecology. Many mechanisms for LBG generation have been proposed but the relative merit of these explanations, and the ways in which they might have interacted to produce the observed gradient, remain poorly resolved. In part, this is because of the simplicity of the pattern observed in the Recent. More information...
Expiry Date: Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Institution: University of Leeds
Supervisor(s): Dr Graeme T. Lloyd (University of Leeds), Dr Katie E. Davis (University of York), Prof Paul Wignall (University of Leeds)
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: Living reptiles – the group that includes turtles, lizards, snakes, crocodiles, and birds – represent a highly successful radiation of terrestrial vertebrates containing roughly four times as many species as their sister clade, the mammals. Explaining this numerical superiority is complex, especially as reptiles are often thought of as being more constrained by abiotic (“Court Jester”) factors, such as climate, than their mammalian counterparts (Mannion et al. 2015). On the other hand, reptiles are also considered more resistant to mass extinctions (Longrich et al. More information...
Expiry Date: Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Institution: University of Leeds
Supervisor(s): Dr Alex Dunhill (University of Leeds), Dr Andrew Beckerman (University of Sheffield), Dr Jennifer Dunne (Santa Fe Institute), Prof Paul Wignall (University of Leeds)
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: Background The diversity of modern marine animals has increased dramatically over the past 230 million years, beginning with an event called the Mesozoic Marine Revolution (MMR). Over this period, marine fauna has gradually developed from sessile, epifaunal benthic assemblages in the Palaeozoic and early Mesozoic to more motile and structured/tiered communities we see today through the Late Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous. Is there evidence of changes in trophic structure and trait evolution that indicate evolutionary escalation in Mesozoic oceans? More information...
Expiry Date: Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Institution: University of Liverpool
Supervisor(s): Dr Karl Bates (Department of Musculoskeletal Biology, University of Liverpool), Dr Susannah Maidment (Department of Earth Sciences, The Natural History Museum London), Dr Nathan Jeffery (Department of Musculoskeletal Biology, University of Liverpool)
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: Project Summary More information...
Expiry Date: Thursday, January 10, 2019
Institution: University of Birmingham
Supervisor(s): Dr Kirsty Edgar (University of Birmingham), Prof. Richard Butler (University of Birmingham), Prof. Richard Twitchett (Natural History Museum, London)
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: Project Highlights: • Join a world-class team of scientists working to understand the links between extreme climate events and ecosystem dynamics • Constrain the dominant patterns, responses and driver(s) of marine ecosystem change • Learn a diverse range of key statistical, palaeobiological and geochemical techniques to investigate controls on past life and relevance to modern communities More information...
Expiry Date: Monday, January 21, 2019
Institution: The Natural History Museum
Supervisor(s): Dr Susannah Maidment (NHM), Prof Richard Butler (University of Birmingham), Prof Paul Barrett (NHM)
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: Cerapodans are a major group of herbivorous bipedal and quadrupedal ornithischian dinosaurs that dominated the terrestrial herbivorous niche during the Cretaceous. Early in their evolutionary history they split into two major groups, the ornithopods (duck-billed dinosaurs and their relatives) and the marginocephalians (horned and frilled dinosaurs and dome-headed dinosaurs). More information...
Expiry Date: Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Institution: University of Oxford
Supervisor(s): Erin Saupe (University of Oxford)
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: Overview More information...
Expiry Date: Saturday, January 26, 2019

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