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Nicola O'Byrne

Understanding and monitoring insect pest dispersal within a changing environment

Understanding and monitoring insect pest dispersal within a changing environment

This exciting PhD project will work at the cutting edge of mathematical and statistical sciences to deliver automatic insect pest detection. Whilst the focus is on developing and applying data science techniques, you will also seek to understand complementary disciplines in biomechanics, insect behaviour and phenology. You will develop a “digital twin” for the flight of insect […]

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Exploring drivers of rarity in the arable weed flora

Exploring drivers of rarity in the arable weed flora

Several iconic plant species that used to be common in cropped fields, including corncockle and corn marigold have dramatically decreased in frequency and abundance since the 1960s due to the intensification of agricultural production. In contrast, other species have remained common or even increased in abundance. Can we explain  the contrasting response of plant species […]

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Biosphere mapping of lead pollution though time

Biosphere mapping of lead pollution though time

This PhD will create a novel methodology for GIS mapping of the extent of Pb pollution through time in Central Britain, resulting in an important addition to the BGS Isotope Biosphere Domain Map. The research will have implications for environmental scientists working in modern and legacy pollutants, veterinary scientists, geographers and archaeologists. The methodology, once […]

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The mysterious microbial ecosystem beneath our feet: Unravelling groundwater microbiology

The mysterious microbial ecosystem beneath our feet: Unravelling groundwater microbiology

Groundwater constitutes 99% of accessible freshwater on the planet and is a vital resource for public water supply in the UK. It contains a little-studied indigenous microbial ecosystem responsible for the cycling of nutrients and a food-source for blind subterranean macroinvertebrates. These ecosystems are increasingly under pressure due to population growth, urbanisation, and climate change, […]

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The War-torn Woodlands of Britain: Reconstructing the ecological impacts of historical disturbance

The War-torn Woodlands of Britain: Reconstructing the ecological impacts of historical disturbance

We seek a numerate, enthusiastic student with a passion for understanding how woodland habitats have been shaped by human activity past and present. The proposed research provides a unique opportunity to answer an important question about the legacy effects of land-use on British woodlands. A comparison of survey data from 1971 and 2002 revealed a […]

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The impact of ozone and climate change on floral VOC signalling in beans, with a focus on subsistence agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa

The impact of ozone and climate change on floral VOC signalling in beans, with a focus on subsistence agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa

Bean yields are significantly affected by pollinator visitation, a visitation which can be heavily influenced by the release of floral volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Ozone pollution and climate change, in isolation or through their interaction, could disrupt these vital pollinator cues. Until recently though, it has not been possible to assess the combined impacts of […]

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Multi-scale modelling of invasive mosquito disease vector establishment in the UK under future climate change scenarios

Multi-scale modelling of invasive mosquito disease vector establishment in the UK under future climate change scenarios

Aedes albopictus, a highly invasive mosquito species and important transmission vector of dengue, zika, yellow fever, dirofilaria and chikungunya, has spread rapidly from Asia and is now established across Europe. It poses a serious public health threat and has recently led to the transmission of dengue fever in Europe. Ongoing UK-wide surveillance recently detected this […]

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