Dr Aldina Franco, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
Prof Carlos Peres, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
Dr Carlos David Santos, Federal University of Pará, Brazil
Dr Tiziana Luisetti, Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS)/ Honorary Lecturer, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
The establishment of robust networks of protected areas is key to address biodiversity loss. Species that move between breeding and non-breeding sites are among those that are most challenging to protect. With recent technological advances and increasing availability of animal movement data, it is possible to design effective protected areas for conservation. This project focuses on birds as indicators of wetland habitats to identify important areas for biodiversity conservation and delivery of ecosystem services in South America. The objectives are 1) map wetland bird diversity and abundance based on aerial surveys and remote sensing; 2) identify foraging movements of wood storks and determine levels of structural and functional connectivity in wetland and mangrove habitats; 3) determine the value of wetland and mangrove ecosystem services (e.g. carbon storage, sediment deposition, availability of fresh water) and 4) identify priority areas for conservation that include landscape connectivity and deliver multiple ecosystem services.
The project will use theoretical and practical ecological skills, remote sensing and statistics. You will explore existing datasets in GIS and/or using R, and investigate which environmental variables may influence species diversity and abundance. You will be trained to deploy state-of-the-art tracking devices that are being developed at UEA www.movetech-telemetry.org and will learn to analyse of animal movement data to inform the design of robust networks for wetland areas in South America.
This is a multidisciplinary project linking ecology, ecological economics and use of new tracking technologies to create evidence-based conservation. You will join an active research group generating world-class, NERC-supported science (https://people.uea.ac.uk/en/persons/a-franco and https://people.uea.ac.uk/en/persons/c-peres) and an energetic ARIES cohort. You will be trained to deliver world-class science. Through the collaboration with Federal University of Pará (UFPA) and governmental and non-governmental organisations in Brazil, you will translate science and evidence into practical conservation measures.
You should have a good degree in life or environmental sciences. In addition to the degree, a relevant MSc degree and/or relevant work experience will be advantageous.