Every year an estimated 250,000 hedgehogs are killed on the UK’s roads and road mortality has been raised as an important factor in their decline. However, few studies have empirically tested whether road mortality is a driver of hedgehog population decline, or whether populations are able to compensate the road mortality through reproduction and or local dispersal. This study will use a combination of density estimates derived from spatial capture recapture, GPS tracking and individual-based models to quantify the risks that hedgehogs face when crossing roads, and whether mitigation measures such as tunnels can effectively reduce hedgehog mortality rates and improve population viability and connectivity.
We are seeking a student with a strong background in ecology, conservation science or related disciplines, i.e. a student with a good undergraduate degree (First class honours degree) and preferably a good Master’s degree (commendation/merit or distinction).
The project would particularly suit someone who has experience of ecological fieldwork, a keen interest in population dynamics, and who wants to apply their knowledge to real-world situations. Strong statistical skills are also desirable. You will work closely with the general public and conservation groups, and engage with landowners, so good communication skills are essential. The student must be ready to start in October 2019.
In addition, the following skills would be desirable:
- Previous experience of peer reviewed publication
- Statistical modelling using R (Spatial Capture Recapture, Unmarked, Occupancy)
- Extensive field work experience
- A driving licence
Interviews for this studentship will be conducted from 8 - 12 July 2019.
Entrants must have a first/undergraduate Honours degree, with an Upper Second Class or a First Class grade. Entrants with a Lower Second Class grade at first degree must also have a postgraduate Masters Degree at Merit or Commendation.
Fees and funding
The studentship includes full-time PhD fees and bursary for a UK or EU student for three years and is funded by Nottingham Trent University and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species. Supervision will be led by Dr. Richard Yarnell, School of Animal Rural and Environmental Sciences (NTU Brackenhurst Campus), in conjunction with Dr Phil Baker (University of Reading), Dr Sarah Perkins (University of Cardiff) and Dr Silviu Petrovan (University of Cambridge).
Guidance and support
Further information on guidance and support can be found on this page.