This project will use video monitoring of the behaviour of wild insects to answer basic questions about how natural and sexual selection act in the wild. Ideally, it will involve developing systems to automate the collection of data from video recordings of insects carrying individual tags. The overall aims will be to address questions such as how beneficial it is for females to mate with more than one male and how conflicts of interest among males and females and between parents and offspring are resolved. The basic approach will be to conduct field studies of burying beetles and possibly crickets using networks of digital video cameras to record behaviour. This will allow the student to carry out both observational and experimental studies on wild animals, something that has only rarely been done using invertebrates.
This project involves collaboration with a Cornish business supplying video camera wildlife monitoring solutions.
Visit www.exeter.ac.uk/biosciences for further information about our research.
For informal enquiries contact Professor Tom Tregenza at T.Tregenza@exeter.ac.uk
Applicants should possess at least a 2:1 Honours degree, or equivalent, in either a biological or computing subject. Familiarity with programming and a willingness to develop tools for video analysis would be very advantageous, candidates with this expertise but limited biologic al qualifications are encouraged to apply. Candidates without programming expertise will also be considered if they have a very strong evolutionary biology background.
How to apply:
To apply, visit www.exeter.ac.uk/2010studentships/application and complete the online web form. You will be asked to submit some personal details and upload a full CV, covering letter, and contact details for two academic referees. Your covering letter should outline your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake this project.
For general enquiries please contact Claire Guy at C.H.Guy@exeter.ac.uk
Interviews will be held on Tuesday 23 March 2010.
Three-year studentship: tuition fees (UK/EU rate only) and annual stipend at current research council rate. Due to funding restrictions this studentship is only available to UK and EU applicants.