NERC PhD Studentship: Current and future conservation status of European bats

NERC PhD Studentship in Biodiversity and Macroecology

Project Title: Current and future conservation status of European bats

Supervisors: Dr. Kate Jones, Dr. Ben Collen, Prof. Tim Blackburn (Institute
of Zoology
, Zoological Society of London), Dr. Bob Smith (DICE, University
of Kent
) and Dr. Karen Haysom (The Bat Conservation Trust).

Project Outline: It is now critical to monitor and understand how
biodiversity is changing in order to mitigate the effects of anthropogenic
development. Bats provide a number of essential ecosystem services and may
act as a useful indicator of general ecosystem health. Since 2006, The
Indicator Bat Program has been collecting ultrasonic bat call data from
driven transects across Europe (see http://www.ibats. org.uk). The PhD
project would develop techniques to automatically extract and identify
ultrasonic calls from these transect recordings and using these data, would
aim to address the following questions:

1) What are the current trends of European bat populations?
2) What is the impact of future global change on the conservation
status
of European bats?
3) How will currently protected area networks need to adapt in light of
future scenarios?

The successful candidate will have a good degree in a relevant subject,
excellent analytical skills, be interested in developing automatic analysis
and species identification of ultrasonic sounds, spatial environmental
modelling and implications of their work to conservation planning. Fluency
in another European language would be an advantage.

To apply, please send a CV and a covering letter detailing your research
interests by 12th Jan 2009 to Dr. Kate Jones (kate.jones@ioz. ac.uk). We will
hold interviews in early Feb 2009.

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