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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 Edinburgh
Supervisor(s): Dr Sean McMahon (University of Edinburgh), Dr Geoff Bromiley (University of Edinburgh)
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: Summary This project will deploy and develop cutting-edge experimental and micro-analytical techniques to elucidate the fossil record of ancient bacteria and other micro-organisms. More information...
Expiry Date: Friday, January 8, 2021
Institution: University of Cambridge
Supervisor(s): Dr Emily Mitchell (Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge) Prof Andrea Manica (Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge)
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: Brief summary: This project will investigate the spatio-temporal dynamics of some of the first animals to ever have existed, those found in the Ediacaran time period 600 million years ago. Importance of the area of research concerned: More information...
Expiry Date: Friday, January 8, 2021
Institution: Durham University
Supervisor(s): Dr Martin R. Smith (Durham University) Dr Tom Nye (Newcastle University) Prof David Harper (Durham University)
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: 500 million years ago, life on earth was fundamentally transformed by the geologically rapid emergence of complex animal-dominated ecosystems. This ‘Cambrian Explosion’ permanently altered the dynamics of biology and geology on a planetary scale – but what evolutionary processes led to the sudden dominance of macroscopic organisms, and their concomitant interactions with the oceans, sediment and biosphere? More information...
Expiry Date: Saturday, January 9, 2021
Institution: University of Liverpool
Supervisor(s): Dr Karl Bates (University of Liverpool) Prof William Sellers (University of Manchester) Dr Jonathan Codd (University of Manchester) Dr Phil Cox (University of York) Dr James Gardiner (University of Liverpool)
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: Numerous theories have been proposed as selective pressures behind the evolution of locomotion in birds. However, to-date none have provided clear mechanistic links between the changes in gross anatomy and overall body shape described by fossils and the biomechanics underpinning this major ecological shift. Here we propose a new hypothesis: that changes in body shape and limb posture were initially driven by selection for enhanced jumping and walking performance on compliant substrates (i.e. branches) prior to the evolutionary radiation of flying taxa. More information...
Expiry Date: Saturday, January 16, 2021
Institution: University of Manchester
Supervisor(s): Dr M Buckley (Uniersity of Manchester), Prof J Hoyland (Uniersity of Manchester), Dr P Manning (Uniersity of Manchester)
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: Bone plays vital roles in the body. Structurally, through supporting body movement and protection of internal organs, and chemically, acting as a reservoir of minerals, blood cell production and molecules for endocrine regulation. It is a biological composite of an inorganic phase (predominantly calcium phosphate) and organic phase, the latter is dominated by collagen molecules that are arranged into fibrils and fibres, within gaps of which the nucleation of mineral crystals occurs. More information...
Expiry Date: Sunday, January 31, 2021
Institution: University of Manchester
Supervisor(s): Dr R Sansom (University of Manchester), Dr R Garwood (University of Manchester), Dr T Gilman (University of Manchester).
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: Phylogenetic data are fundamental for understanding evolution. Building and analysing trees from genotypic and phenotypic data is necessary to reconstruct evolutionary relationships, diversifications, rates, and dynamics. Molecular data have had a renaissance with respect to development of ‘big data’ approaches, and a plethora of analytical tools. Morphological data are also essential, especially because of their role in analysis of fossils thus providing deep time-perspectives. They are, however, relatively neglected. More information...
Expiry Date: Sunday, January 31, 2021
Institution: University of Manchester
Supervisor(s): Dr R Garwood (University of Manchester), Dr R Sansom (University of Manchester), Dr M Sutton (Imperial College, London)
Funding Status: Funding is in competition with other projects and students
Description: Macroevolution occurs over time spans of millions of years. Two approaches can be taken in identifying and understanding macroevolutionary patterns and processes - empirical and theoretical. For example, the mode and tempo of evolutionary change can be investigated using phylogenies of living and extinct species, and through computer simulations replicating evolution in digital organisms/species [1,2]. These contrasting approaches are complementary, but each has limitations: empirical data contain biases (fossilisation, for example), whilst by necessity simulations are highly simplified. More information...
Expiry Date: Sunday, January 31, 2021

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