Past Projects


2019 Projects

A New Framework for Measuring Uncertainty in Satellite Observations of Climate Change

This project offers the exciting opportunity to develop fundamental new insight into the certainty of satellite estimates of climate change, with a focus on Earth’s polar ice sheets. The melting of … October 22, 2019Nicola O'Byrne 2019 LU Read More

Abundance within species’ ranges: understanding species’ responses to environmental change

Accelerated climate change and environmental degradation make it necessary to improve our understanding of, and ability to predict, species’ responses to environmental change. The availability of la… October 21, 2019Nicola O'Byrne 2019,Current UoN Read More

Adapting to extreme environments: Hybridisation and the evolution of contemporary heavy metal tolerance

Climate change, urbanisation and exploitation of natural resources increasingly alter the environment, posing significant challenges for plants and animals. We have a poor understanding of how organis… October 22, 2019Nicola O'Byrne 2019 BU Read More

Aerodynamic invasions: does the biomechanics of flight affect dispersal and genetic diversity in invasive species?

Invasive species represent one of the most pressing threats to earth’s biodiversity. This ENVISION PhD studentship is an exciting opportunity to work at the interface of biomechanics and genomics to… October 21, 2019Nicola O'Byrne 2019 BU Read More

Aliens in the twilight zone: using robots to study and manage invasive lionfish on Caribbean mesophotic coral ecosystems

Invasive lionfish threaten native Caribbean marine biodiversity. Lionfish predate unchecked on native fish which, unlike in the lionfish’s native Indo-Pacific, have no evolved defence. Current manag… October 21, 2019Nicola O'Byrne 2019 UoN Read More

Altered states: Will forest-agriculture mosaic landscapes allow the long-term survival of a forest-specialist primate?

Managing wildlife in anthropogenically-modified landscapes is a persistent challenge for conservationists, even where direct human-wildlife conflict is not too pronounced. Human conversion of land for… October 21, 2019Nicola O'Byrne 2019 BU Read More

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2018 Projects

Ancient DNA for palaeoecology and freshwater conservation

We require a versatile student who is comfortable working with “mud and molecules” for a project that aims to develop and apply the use of ancient DNA in lake sediments (sedDNA). Traces of DNA p… October 10, 2017Nicola O'Byrne 2018 Nottingham Read More

Being behind the times? Assessing the liana-induced impact on forest phenology using a multispectral Unmanned Aerial System (UAS)

Tropical forests are a major global carbon sink and account for a third of the carbon fixed globally by photosynthesis. Recent research shows that these forests are changing, including increases in … October 10, 2017Nicola O'Byrne 2018 Nottingham Read More

Change in arctic and alpine plant communities: the roles of climate and geodiversity

Understanding variation and change in biodiversity as a consequence of changing environments is one of today’s main scientific challenges. One problem is that recent climate change has tended to b… October 10, 2017Nicola O'Byrne 2018 Nottingham Read More

Climate change impacts on cold-adapted butterflies: discovering the mechanisms and testing potential mitigation approaches

Cold-adapted species, including those restricted to mountains, are highly vulnerable to climate change. For UK butterflies, cold-adapted species are similarly threatened by climate change-mediated d… October 10, 2017Nicola O'Byrne 2018 CASE,Lancaster Read More

Complementary strategies for the sustainable management of an invasive pest in Africa

In January 2016, the first reports of a new invasive pest was received in Africa. In less than two years, the new pest – the Fall armworm, Spodoptera frugiperda – had spread to most countries (&… October 10, 2017Nicola O'Byrne 2018 Rothamsted Read More

Dispersal strategies and space use in pollinating bees

Quantifying dispersal ability and how organisms navigate through the environment is an essential step required to predict how individual species will cope with land use changes. There is a growing d… October 10, 2017Nicola O'Byrne 2018 Rothamsted Read More

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2017 Projects

A multi-scale assessment of the regrowth potential of secondary forests in the Brazilian Amazon

Now that humanity has cleared or damaged at least three-quarters of the world’s primary forests, the regrowth of tropical forests plays a key role in global biogeochemical cycles, climate regulation… December 14, 2016Gordon Chapman-Fox 2017,Projects 2017,Lancaster,Projects Read More

A New Framework for Measuring Uncertainty in Satellite Observations of Climate Change

This project offers the exciting opportunity to develop fundamental new insight into the certainty of satellite estimates of climate change, with a focus on Earth’s polar ice sheets. The melting of … October 22, 2019Nicola O'Byrne 2019 LU Read More

Abundance within species’ ranges: understanding species’ responses to environmental change

Accelerated climate change and environmental degradation make it necessary to improve our understanding of, and ability to predict, species’ responses to environmental change. The availability of la… October 21, 2019Nicola O'Byrne 2019,Current UoN Read More

Adapting to extreme environments: Hybridisation and the evolution of contemporary heavy metal tolerance

Climate change, urbanisation and exploitation of natural resources increasingly alter the environment, posing significant challenges for plants and animals. We have a poor understanding of how organis… October 22, 2019Nicola O'Byrne 2019 BU Read More

Aerodynamic invasions: does the biomechanics of flight affect dispersal and genetic diversity in invasive species?

Invasive species represent one of the most pressing threats to earth’s biodiversity. This ENVISION PhD studentship is an exciting opportunity to work at the interface of biomechanics and genomics to… October 21, 2019Nicola O'Byrne 2019 BU Read More

Aliens in the twilight zone: using robots to study and manage invasive lionfish on Caribbean mesophotic coral ecosystems

Invasive lionfish threaten native Caribbean marine biodiversity. Lionfish predate unchecked on native fish which, unlike in the lionfish’s native Indo-Pacific, have no evolved defence. Current manag… October 21, 2019Nicola O'Byrne 2019 UoN Read More

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2016 Projects

Adaptation of microorganisms to stresses in diverse environments

Environmental change and perturbation due to human activities can have devastating impacts on microbial activities like biogeochemical cycling that are essential to the earth’s ecosystem functions. … January 13, 2017Nicola O'Byrne 2016 Read More

An interdisciplinary approach to understanding predator modification of prey behaviour

Predation has a fundamental role in determining the structure, dynamics and functioning of natural ecosystems. Predators don’t just consume prey – they scare them – and hence alter their behavio… January 16, 2017Nicola O'Byrne 2016 Read More

Are land-use decisions of African elephants based on environmental geochemistry?

This project will explore the role of environmental geochemistry in land use decisions by wild African elephants. This is a unique, interdisciplinary project involving environmental geochemistry, plan… January 16, 2017Nicola O'Byrne 2016 Read More

Assessing the sustainability of freshwater aquaculture in the Philippines using palaeolimnology

We require a motivated, curious and independent student with interests in lake water quality and environmental change in the tropics to apply for our studentship investigating the impacts of aquacultu… January 16, 2017Nicola O'Byrne 2016 Read More

Atmosphere-biosphere interactions: UV, ozone and the earth system

Good environmental policy has to be founded on high-quality environmental science, but delivering the research needed by policy makers can be a challenge. The Montreal protocol is widely held to be th… January 16, 2017Nicola O'Byrne 2016 Read More

Biological signals of the island mass effect

Coral reefs are ocean oases, supporting immense diversity and providing fisheries for small island nations. These important ecosystems are under threat from local anthropogenic impacts and global clim… January 16, 2017Nicola O'Byrne 2016 Read More

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2015 Projects

Atmosphere-biosphere interactions: UV, ozone and the Earth system

Good environmental policy has to be founded on high-quality environmental science, but delivering the research needed by policy makers can be a challenge. The Montreal protocol is widely held to be th… January 16, 2017Nicola O'Byrne 2015 Read More

Atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the last greenhouse

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that evidence for global warming is unequivocal and is very likely anthropogenic in origin. However, climate change is not solely anthropogenic … January 16, 2017Nicola O'Byrne 2015 Read More

Behaviour, morphology and genetics of cichlid fish undergoing ecological speciation

We are seeking a PhD student to work as part of an interdisciplinary team, based at Bangor University, with collaborators in the Universities of Bristol and Cambridge. The project will focus on charac… January 16, 2017Nicola O'Byrne 2015 Read More

Causes and consequences of immune variation in rodents

The norm is to be exposed to a wide range of infectious organisms and most wild animals are infected with a wide range of parasites. Yet in modern societies we humans are infected with relatively few … January 16, 2017Nicola O'Byrne 2015 Read More

Changing patterns of insect migration studied with a network of weather radars

Long-range insect migration occurs on an enormous scale and provides huge costs and benefits to agricultural ecosystems. Insect population dynamics and migration phenology are both strongly influenced… January 16, 2017Nicola O'Byrne 2015 Read More

Characterisation of iron bioavailability from African soils

We have recently found convincing evidence that soil dust contamination of food is an important (non-haem) dietary source of iron in several sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. In rural Malawi, compo… January 16, 2017Nicola O'Byrne 2015 Read More

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