Wild flowers - Stoke Gabriel

NERC Industrial CASE PhD studentship opportunity

The University of Exeter in partnership with the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Unit is inviting applications for this NERC Industrial CASE-funded PhD studentship to commence in September 2015. The studentship will cover UK/EU tuition fees plus an annual stipend of at least £14,863 pa for four years.

Project Description:

Cross-pollination of crop and wild flowers requires that pollinators, such as bees, move over larger and smaller distances to effectively distribute pollen. On the bees' side, the primary need is not only to forage effectively, but also to safely navigate in changing environments.

Navigation in bees is influenced by landmarks, and in heterogeneous fragmented landscapes with major landmark structures, those can significantly determine where and how bees forage, subsequently affecting pollination services.

In this project we will investigate how bees adjust their behaviour to such conditions. The work involves field observations of foraging bees in South Devon and implementation of the data into predictive models of distribution of pollination services.

The B-Lines project is led by the CASE partner of this project, the South West AONB unit. The data collected in this project, scientific conclusions and outcomes of model testing will feed directly into the management of the AONB landscape to enable the assessment of the effectiveness of B-Lines and landscape management practices on the pollination services provided by bees.

This PhD project offers both multidisciplinary academic training in the behavioural and ecological sciences and training in landscape management and the development and implementation of environmental policies.

The studentship is funded by NERC for four years, and includes an industrial placement at the South Devon AONB Unit.

For further information and eligibility please visit: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/studying/funding/award/?id=1706