Join EEL! We are currently advertising a funded PhD project looking at how we can harness the power of social interactions to breed better crop plants. The idea is that rice plants can positively or negatively influence the growth of their neighbours, and by selecting for plants that are nice rather than nasty to their neighbours, we can increase yields, and perhaps also reduce the incidence of disease. This will help feed the world’s population, which is especially important as it is currently growing very rapidly! Note the project is part of a competition funded by EASTBIO BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership.
I am also looking for an applicant for a project investigating how animals shape their social world, and whether some are good at it and some are bad at it. Essentially all organisms engage in social interactions such as mating and fighting, and by chosing who to interact with and who to avoid, they can alter the world they experience. But the extent they actually do this, and whether some do it well and others not all, are open questions. This project will explore these questions using field work on social spiders in Ecuador and lab experiments in gregarious cockroaches in Aberdeen. More detailed advert here. Note the project is part of a competition funded by QUADRAT NERC Doctoral Training Partnership.
I also am looking for a self funded student for a distance learning PhD project looking at the diversity of social networks across the tree of life. The project would involve downloading open-access data on animal social networks, and analysing them to determine whether related species have more similar social networks, what traits of a species or the environment they live in influences their social network, and more! Please see the link for further details, but please only get in touch if you have funding or the ability to apply for funding from an another source.