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January 16, 2017

Investigating the mechanisms behind moth declines: plants, landscape, pollution and climate

Investigating the mechanisms behind moth declines plants, landscape, pollution and climate 400 x 400 px

This is an exciting opportunity to use ecology-driven science to understand why moths are in such dramatic decline and to offer solutions that can reverse these destabilising trends.

The project will explore which environmental and biological factors are causing declines and how moths interact with plants as their host, as sources of nectar and as pollinators. Synthesising knowledge gained from the field, you will scale up your results and make predictions about how UK farmland can be better managed to enhance moth populations.

The project will offer opportunities to do field work in field margins for which there will be a need to handle moths and be able to identify common flowers and grasses. Further, the successful candidate will gain experience of developing statistical models that are essential for later career progression in ecology.

The student will be working in close contact with two of the longest, most spatially extensive datasets in the world based at Rothamsted Research and CEH Wallingford, where they will benefit from the expertise in these groups and learn about monitoring British wildlife. The PhD will largely be based at Rothamsted Research.

Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in subjects such as biology or ecology. Candidates should, ideally, have some statistical expertise or at least a willingness to generate models. An interest in natural history and entomology would be an advantage.

For further details please contact Dr James Bell james.bell@rothamsted.ac.uk