PhD Studentship - Balancing ecosystem services within a globally important freshwater habitat

United Kingdom
Mar 24, 2016
Oct 28, 2016
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time

PhD Studentship – Balancing ecosystem services within a globally important freshwater habitat

Biological Sciences Research

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:   Friday 28 October 2016
Reference:  712116BJ

PhD Description:

There is an urgent need to quantify the benefits provided by chalk streams to inform better management and decision-making. This project, run in conjunction with the Vitacress Conservation trust, will measure the ecological and socio-economic importance of chalk streams in the UK.  It will focus on the Itchen and Test catchments as exemplars for future practical conservation and management strategies emerging from this research. The findings will inform policy on sustainable chalk stream management to support the wide range of activities associated with these important fresh water habitats. This project has 4 objectives: (i) characterise biodiversity patterns within Itchen and Test catchments and identify key biodiversity areas for improving conservation actions; (ii) measure ecosystem services provided within catchments to add substantially to the extremely limited fine-scale knowledge of our reliance on chalk streams; (iii) analyse the relationship between biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services in order to determine if the need to conserve biodiversity itself is fundamental to ensuring the continual supply if these services; and lastly (iv) evaluate the stakeholders’ preference for biodiversity conservation and catchment resource-use policy in order to resolve potential conflicts among multiple stakeholders.                                                                                                                  

Supervisors: Kelvin Peh (IfLS, University of Southampton); Jake Snaddon (CfBS, University of Southampton); Robert Holland (CfBS, University of Southampton)

Qualifications/Requirements: Candidates should have the following:

  • At the very least an undergraduate degree with a minimum 2:1 in biological or environmental sciences or related disciplines

  • A demonstrable interest in independent and multidisciplinary research and ecological fieldwork

There is no deadline for applications. Applications will be considered in the order that they are received, and the position will be considered filled when a suitable candidate has been identified

Start date: June 2016 - negotiable

General enquiries should be made to Robert Holland at

Application procedure: Applications for an MPhil/PhD in Biological Sciences should be submitted online at

Any queries on the application process should be made to

The University of Southampton and the Centre for Biological Sciences both hold an Athena Swan Bronze Award, demonstrating their commitment to provide equal opportunities and to advance the representation of women in STEM/M subjects: science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.   Due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break.  University benefits include onsite childcare facilities, state-of-the-art on-campus sports, arts and culture facilities, a full programme of events and a range of staff discounts.

Funding notes:

The full studentship will cover a total of 3 years’ stipend and fee costs. The stipend will be provided at the RCUK rate for covering the living expenses.Due to funding restrictions this position is only open to UK/EU applicants. 

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