International PhD Scholarship – Climate Change and Soil Biodiversity: Earthworms as Indicators

Applications are invited for a full-time scholarship available in the School of Built & Natural Environment. The scholarship is tenable for up to 3 years for a PhD (via MPhil route) [subject to satisfactory progress] and is open to international applicants only. UK/EU applicants are not eligible to apply.

The scholarship will provide £15000 towards the cost of the International tuition fee over 3 years. Project Title: Climate Change and Soil Biodiversity: Earthworms as Indicators

Project Description: Data on distribution, abundance and diversity of earthworms in Britain is scattered in the scientific literature. Collation of such information, spanning more than a century will permit production of preliminary distribution maps. More importantly it will provide baseline information for re-examination of sites where date-specific records exist. Through re-sampling, direct comparisons of faunal assemblages will permit assessment of effects brought about by climate changes directly affecting soil-related conditions. These mainly relate to increased temperatures, decreased soil moisture (at times of drought) and elevated carbon dioxide levels.

Major Aims: To determine long and short term changes to soil fauna (earthworms specifically), at selected field sites, from both literature-based and field-collected data; To relate recorded faunal changes with recorded climate changes and analyse observed relationships.

 Applicants should have, or expect to receive a qualification equivalent to a high class UK honours degree. Informal project related enquiries may be directed to Kevin Butt email Tel 01772 893966 Application Forms can be found at:

Completed application forms should be emailed to

The closing date for applications to the Graduate Research Office: Friday 13 May 2011 5pm British Summer Time

Proposed Interview Date: Thursday 9 June

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