PhDs in Biology & Conservation Ecology

PhDs in Biology & Conservation Ecology are available at Manchester Metropolitan University. The deadline for the PhDs is 21st November:

Understanding the Asian songbird crisis: supply and demand within Java’s huge captive bird market – with Stuart Marsden and Alex Lees (MMU), Andy Moss (Chester Zoo) and Nigel Collar (BirdLife)

The pet trade on Java has devastated the island’s wild bird populations, and its influence extends across Indonesia and far into other adjacent Asian nations, fueling the Asian Songbird Crisis. Conservation-motivated research on the issue has thus far focused on wildlife market surveys, the link between trade volume and wild bird population declines, and the efficacy of blanket bans on trade. However, little attention has been paid to what drives the desire for people to continue to want birds in cages, how patterns of ownership vary across time and space, and demographically. This PhD, joint funded by Chester Zoo and MMU, aims to identify patterns of demand for, and supply of, songbirds on Java in order to provide evidence in support of strategies to reduce demand for, and pragmatically, more sustainable supply of birds into trade.

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Conservation ecology and reintroduction of the Critically Endangered Black-winged Myna in Indonesia – with Stuart Marsden, Huw Lloyd and Christian Devenish (MMU), Andrew Owen (Chester Zoo), and Nigel Collar (BirdLife)

The PhD, joint funded by Chester Zoo and MMU, focuses on conservation management for the three subspecies of Black-winged Myna Acridotheres melanopterus (likely the subject of a future taxonomic upgrade), as well as other bird species under extreme threat of extinction owing to excessive trapping for the cagebird trade. It aims to evaluate the prospects for the last remaining wild populations of all three taxa of the myna, to determine their management needs, and to identify best practices for the reintroduction of captive A. m. melanopterus.

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Spatiotemporal dynamics in the ecosystem services of urban green spaces – with Gina Cavan, Graham Smith and Stuart Marsden

Urban green and blue spaces, including parks, woodland, community gardens, river banks, waterways, etc. are of great importance in their potential for provision of ecosystem services in urban areas. However, assessments of their ecosystem services are typically static i.e. for a fixed period in time, and thus there is limited understanding of the dynamics of ecosystem services and how they change over different spatial and temporal scales as a result of, for example, management regimes and urban development. Furthermore, it is likely that different types of urban green spaces are vulnerable to different drivers of change (both human and natural), affecting ecosystem service provision over different spatiotemporal scales. With a spatially explicit modelling approach at its core, this research will involve an integrated assessment of a number of ecosystem services, including for example, regulating (e.g. climate regulation), cultural (e.g. recreational), and supporting (e.g. habitat provision), and their spatial and temporal dynamics within Greater Manchester, UK.

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