PhD on assessing multiple pressures on seabirds

jonathan-greenJonathan Green
  • 1
  • 9 Dec '19

Last chance to apply for our PhD "Assessing multiple pressures on seabirds" supervised by Jonathan Green and Leonie Robinson (University of Liverpool) in collaboration with Julie Black (JNCC) and Francis Daunt (UKCEH).

Deadline January 8th. Unfortunately only UK candidates are eligible for full funding, which is available via competition within the ACCE DTP This is a CASE project.

Seabirds are the world’s most threatened group of birds, facing threats from multiple anthropogenic activities in the marine environment, including renewable energy, fisheries, contaminants, plastics and climate change. While we have some understanding of individual and population vulnerability to each threat in isolation, to date, no attempt has been made to assess vulnerability to the cumulative effects of these. This is hindering our ability to make conservation and management decisions for seabirds.

Project objectives:
[1] Using a test system such as kittiwakes or guillemots from the Isle of May Long Term Study, develop a method to combine exposure of seabirds to multiple pressures in time and space.
[2] Using the same system, establish the relative severity of these pressures on a single unified scale.
[3] Further to 1&2, develop a vulnerability assessment that combines exposure and severity and incorporates populations’ potential to recover, based on census data.
[4] Apply the method developed to a larger scale (e.g. UK species and/or UK waters) and incorporate the implications of realistic management scenarios for key pressures.

Ours will be the first attempt to combine multiple datasets on seabirds and to develop and apply a methodology that can work at multiple scales, while incorporating variation in space and time that is inherent to these animals and their threats. Cumulative impacts on some species are already recognized and in the UK our partners JNCC urgently require an approach to meaningfully assess impacts across sectors to facilitate sustainable development, particularly in relation to offshore wind farms.

Candidates should be interested in marine conservation, spatial ecology and novel analytical approaches. Fieldwork experience is available during the project. In your application you should describe how and why your interests and experience match the likely demands of this particular PhD. Candidates are advised to contact the lead supervisor ( before application.

Applications via this link: