PHD Project

August 17, 2022

Restoring for a resilient future: Woodland community assembly trajectories in the face of multiple stressors

You will be based at UKCEH Bangor and Bangor University, joining a dynamic group of forest ecosystem, climate change and air pollution researchers, based in the Environment Centre Wales. You will make use of world-leading pollution control facilities, including a field-release ozone system and the solar domes (https://www.ceh.ac.uk/our-science/research-facilities/solardomes-and-ozone-field-release-system). The work includes relating detailed ecophysiological measures to more easily-quantified functional traits, and undertaking epigenetic analyses as part of an internship at the University of Birmingham. You will benefit from access to international networks such as TreeDivNet (www.treedivnet.ugent.be).

You will aim to answer the questions:

  • Does ozone create greater divergence in initial woodland community restoration trajectories in the presence of additional stressors (drought, co-occurring weed species)?
  • Can relationships among functional traits, ecophysiology and epigenetic mechanisms explain divergent restoration trajectories?

Providing answers is important for policy makers and restoration practitioners to scale-up ecological restoration to address biodiversity loss and threats from climate change. You will place ozone in its rightful place among the key factors influencing restoration trajectories, and provide critical guidance to restoration scientists, practitioners and policy makers in the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and beyond.