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  • Expression of interest: PhD Scholarship on Why species and populations differ in how sensitivity they are to climate change

    Guest Martijn van de Pol
    • Employer: James Cook University
      Location: Townsville
      Country: Australia
      Last Date to Apply: 09/22/2022
      Open Until Filled: No

    I’m looking for candidates who wish to apply for a competitive PhD scholarship at James Cook University (Townsville, Australia) to study why species and populations differ in how sensitivity they are to climate change. The project involves the analysis of existing datasets of long-term bird population studies collated from across the globe. Townsville is a beautiful tropical town at the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef and Wet tropics. Another reason to come to Townsville is that James Cook University is globally ranked #2 in Biodiversity & Conservation research.


    Bird species respond very different to climate change, with some species benefitting and others suffering. A major challenge is to understand what causes this diversity in responses, as this will help us to predict the winners and losers from global warming and prioritize conservation strategies. However, it has proven challenging to make progress on this, as species’ responses are typically highly idiosyncratic. At the same time, even within species, different populations also exhibit widely different responses. Understanding intra-specific variation in climate responses may be more feasible and a logical first step, as populations mainly differ in their environment, while the species life-history typically varies little within species ranges. However, intra-specific comparisons are extremely rare, as it requires long-term data from many different sites of the same species. Here we propose to apply population dynamical models on some of the best studied bird species in the wild, for which data is available for over many populations across the continents of its species range.

    You need to be eligible to apply for an (International) Research Training Program Scholarship (https://www.jcu.edu.au/graduate-research-school/hdr-candidates/postgraduate-research-scholarships). To be competitive for the scholarship candidates typically should have at least one first-authored peer reviewed publication (or two co-authored) and an MSc with high grades (which includes a research component) or an Honours 1st class, or equivalent (https://www.jcu.edu.au/graduate-research-school/forms-and-policies/scholarship-scoring-procedure)

    If interested please send an email with your interests, including a current CV and details of two references to Dr Martijn van de Pol: martijn.vandepol@jcu.edu.au

    See my website for more information about my research and this project: https://research.jcu.edu.au/portfolio/martijn.vandepol/

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