PhD - Effectiveness of Landscape-scale Deer Management for Future Forest Resilience
University of East Anglia - School of Environmental Sciences
Qualification type: PhD Location: Norwich Funding for: UK Students, EU Students Funding amount: £14,059 Please see advert Hours: Full Time
Placed on: 7th January 2016 Closes: 11th February 2016 Reference: DOLMAN_U15FC
Start Date: 01/04/2016
Supervisor:Dr Paul Dolman
Multi-use forestry provides important ecosystem services of timber, carbon sequestration, recreational amenity and biodiversity. Climate change and emerging threats of forest pathogens require tree species diversification and novel forest management strategies to enhance resilience. However expanding deer populations may limit adaptation opportunities, as many tree species are susceptible to browsing. Although deer impacts on forestry and associated biodiversity are well documented, effectiveness of deer management in regulating populations at local and landscape-scales is poorly understood. Deer numbers and recruitment rates are often not known and management is not based on robust and verifiable evidence.
This PhD studentship will build on long-term monitoring of landscape-scale deer numbers using thermal imaging, to quantify and model source-sink population dynamics across landownerships which differ in management objectives and practices. Forest impacts will be quantified in relation to deer density, tree species and resource scarcity. Outcomes of deer management scenarios (spatial deployment of effort) will be modelled, providing a decision support tool.
The student will be jointly supervised by the University of East Anglia and Forestry Commission. The student will join a large community of postgraduate and postdoctoral conservation ecologists and population biologists across the Schools of Environmental and Biological Sciences at UEA and will benefit from training by FC forestry and deer management professionals. Suitable applicants will have: a first or upper second class BSc and ideally MSc in Ecology, Biology or a related discipline; skills in statistical analysis, GIS and field ecology; experience of working with diverse stakeholders and an enthusiasm for working long hours in challenging field conditions. For further enquiries please contact Dr Paul Dolman: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interview will be held on Friday 19 February 2016.
Applicants should hold at least a 2:1 degree in Biological Sciences, Ecology, Environmental Biology, or related discipline
This four year studentship is funded by the Forestry Commission England, and includes home/EU tuition fees, bench fees, field research costs (equipment, transport), and an annual stipend of £14,057.