2023

Measuring the impact of rewilding on pollinator biodiversity: what can machine learning tell us?

Bee

Rewilding is an approach to conservation which seeks to regenerate degraded ecosystems in a self-sustaining way, with relatively little ongoing management. Rewilding projects are proliferating in the UK, especially following the high-profile success of the Knepp Wildland project in West Sussex, and are potentially transformative in attempts to protect and enhance biodiversity nationally. There is […]

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Impacts of non-native invasive crayfish in tropical freshwater systems

Crayfish

Invasive species are a key cause of biodiversity decline in freshwater systems. Crayfish are a particularly problematic invader, with multiple species ranked amongst the worst global invaders. However, relatively little is known about invasive crayfish in tropical rivers. There is also growing evidence that invasive crayfish can have both ecological and geomorphological impacts, which can […]

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Promoting a nature-positive future: how to measure biodiversity to assess habitat restoration success

The Knapp Estate Rewilding Project

Biodiversity is essential for ecosystem services and resilience to global change, but is declining globally. Recent regulatory shifts requiring biodiversity reporting, offsetting and nature positive outcomes are creating a market for private finance of conservation. However, this is being hindered by lack of appropriate measurement methods for biodiversity. The supervisory team, collaborating with a wide […]

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The effect of environmental metals on the spread of antimicrobial resistance genes in the stickleback skin microbiome

Stickleback

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major threat to humans, animals, and our environment. Often associated with overuse of antibiotics in human and livestock dominated environments, its wider environmental occurrence is poorly understood. Emerging evidence suggests that AMR genes (ARGs) are frequently identified in commensal organisms, such as members of host-associated and environmental microbiomes. To effectively […]

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Tracking landslides and earthwork failures using electrical geophysics

Tracking Electrode Movements

Slope instability is responsible for considerable social and economic harm. In the UK, impacts are principally economic, through damage and disruption to critical infrastructure (e.g. railways, flood defences, reservoir dams etc.), costing >£100 million annually. Further afield, in areas with high rainfall and mountainous conditions (e.g. South East Asia) impacts are considerably greater, including enormous […]

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Landslide early warning: developing novel geophysical monitoring approaches to ‘see inside’ unstable slopes

Landslide Early Warning

Slope failures cause considerable social and economic harm. In the UK, impacts are principally economic, through the damage and disruption to our transportation (e.g. rail) and utilities (e.g. dams) networks, costing over £100 million per year. Further afield, in mountainous areas with high rainfall impacts are considerably greater, including much greater loss of life. Conventional […]

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Developing a microfluorination technique for oxygen isotope analysis on biogenic silica

Microfluorination

Human-induced climate change has altered environments around the world. In pursuit of environmental change resilience, we require vital palaeoclimate data and empirical context for contemporary and future climate change.  The oxygen isotope composition of biogenic silica is controlled by prevailing climate conditions and is routinely used to reconstruct past climate. However, the extraction and measurement […]

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Volcanic fertilisation of tropical forest biomes

Bulusan Lake Fieldwork

Tropical rainforest biomes are some of the most diverse and productive ecosystems on the planet, but these systems are also particularly vulnerable to changing climatic and environmental conditions. This studentship will aim to answer fundamental questions about how volcanism may alter the composition, structure, flowering dynamics and productivity of tropical forests, by supplying them with […]

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Agroecosystems in a Climate Crisis: Using Big Data to understand the Out of the Ordinary

Agroecostystems Science in the virtual world

Agroecosystems produce food but also deliver both benefits and disbenefits for the environment, including water and air quality. Climate change forecasts for the UK suggest changes to the intensity and frequency of flooding, drought, heat and strong winds, as already evidenced by the record-breaking years observed in the UK over the past decade. At present, […]

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