Funded MScRes position (competitive)
To start October 2022. Funding covers fees, a stipend, and some research funding. Contact me for more info.
Project title: Assessing current and historical levels of genetic diversity in North Wales moths
There are two species of moth in North-West Wales which are found nowhere else in the UK, Weaver’s Wave (Welsh: ton Gwynedd), Idaea contiguaria britanniae and Ashworth’s Rustic (Welsh: gwladwr Cymreig), Xestia ashworthii. These populations are likely relics of a wider distribution, and their current distribution in mountainous areas suggests that they may be cold-adapted. Such populations are extremely susceptible to climate change, as they cannot easily shift their range to more hospitable areas, and small isolated populations typically have low levels of genetic diversity as a result of founder effects, inbreeding, and the lack of new alleles through gene flow via migrant animals. These Welsh moths are therefore under a variety of pressures, and their limited range and potentially low genetic diversity may render them unable to cope with our rapidly changing climate.
The project will include field sampling across the current range of these species; identification of historical samples in UK and European museums; and lab-based determination of current and historical levels of genetic diversity to shed light on what is going on with these species, and what pressures they might be under as our climate changes.
Applicants should have a good 1st class degree in a relevant subject area.
I welcome applications from prospective MSc by Research (MScRes) or self-funded PhD students who are interested in genetic, genomics, developmental biology, or evo-devo. Various projects are available working with snakes, sharks and gerbils.
Prospective students from Commonwealth countries may wish to investigate the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission as a possible source of support for postgraduate study.
I also welcome enquiries from prospective post-doctoral researchers, especially those interested in applying for independent fellowships such as: