PhD opportunity at the School of Applied Sciences at Bournemouth University, UK: The importance of freshwater ecosystems in emerging infectious diseases is increasingly being recognised. Freshwaters effectively function as transmission foci for pathogens through their importance for organism survival, the aquatic life histories of many vectors and intermediate hosts, the concentrated aggregations of species in and around freshwaters, and the highly altered condition of freshwater ecosystems which can affect species interactions and disease pathology. The PhD will utilise a unique long-term large-scale dataset of parasite abundance and diversity in UK freshwaters collated by the Environment Agency, for which the supervisory team has negotiated access. This comprises information from over 20 years of disease monitoring, yet it has never been exploited for research purposes. The aim of this PhD is to determine and predict the current and future outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases in freshwater ecosystems using indices of parasite diversity and the UK as the representative study area.
Application deadline: 31st May 2012