There is a huge resource of biological recording data being collected by a wide range of people: for example, citizen scientists, specialist recording volunteers, scientific field data. These data contain valuable information on ecosystem biodiversity and how it is changing through time. However, the data also contain many confounding factors, such as variation from place to place in the intensity of recording (the recorder effort). How best should these data be used to guide conservation and policy? Are these data reliable for detecting changes in a species’ numbers? How does citizen biological recording data compare to targeted monitoring schemes?
This PhD will study assess existing approaches to the analysis of biological recording data that aim to correct for confounding factors (e.g. FRESCALO, Good-Turing estimators or occupancy-detection models), develop new spatial statistics for estimating species richness and species turnover and apply these approaches to biological records data in Ireland.
The PhD candidate will be based at UCD for 4-years. The candidate should have a minimum of a 2.1 undergraduate science degree (or equivalent) with a strong quantitative background (a BSc. in a quantitative subject or a biological science degree with evidence of strong quantitative skills). The student will have the chance to work with the three postdocs on the project, the three PIs and project collaborators.
The PhD is under the supervision Dr Jon Yearsley (UCD), with co-supervisors Dr Tomas Murray (National Biodiversity Data Centre) and Dr Dinara Sadykova (Queen’s University Belfast). The PhD position is in collaboration with the National Biodiversity Data Centre in Waterford (http://www.biodiversityireland.ie/), and will involve a work placement at the data centre.
The position comes with a consumables budget, a stipend of 18,000 euro per year and 5,500 euro per year towards fees.
For further details of this post please contact: Jon Yearsley (Jon.Yearsley@ucd.ie)
To apply, send a current CV and a covering letter be sent to Jon Yearsley (Jon.Yearsley@ucd.ie) by Monday 21st December 2016