Jobs & Studentships

PhD position in interdisciplinary perspectives on parasite conservation strategies

A competitive PhD position is available as part of our Leverhulme Doctoral Training Programme for interdisciplinary Extinction studies.

Is parasite conservation culturally feasible?

Co-supervisors: Dr Simon Goodman (School of Biology), Prof Alison Dunn (School of Biology), Dr Ellen Clarke (School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science)

Parasites represent a major proportion of global biodiversity, with more parasite species than species in herbivore and predator trophic levels combined. Parasites underpin many aspects of ecosystem function through their ecological linkages and influences on host population dynamics. They also drive many of the evolutionary processes that generate new biodiversity through the selection pressures they exert on their hosts. Yet parasites are rarely considered in local and global scale conservation strategy, or are seen as something to be eradicated during conservation programmes for their hosts. This is at odds with the need for parasites to be part of long-term perspectives on conservation centred on maintaining the processes that sustain and create biodiversity. This doctoral project aims to identify high priority host/parasite systems in need of conservation in threatened vertebrates worldwide, and to assess which parasite traits (from both biological and cultural perspectives) are likely to be associated with successful parasite conservation outcomes.

Deadline for applications is 4th February 2022. More details here.


We anticipate offering additional PhD and post-doctoral fellowship hosting opportunities in several areas for 2022. Please contact me by email if you would like to discuss these projects.

  • Pinniped evolutionary genomics – Genomic basis of life-history strategies, genomic basis of disease susceptibility
  • Bat evolutionary genomics, and bat host-parasite interactions
  • Pinniped conservation biology
  • Marine eDNA
  • Development of novel biosensor technology for environmental surveillance, detection and diagnosis of emerging infectious diseases


We are happy to hear from students with interests in evolution, population genetics and genomics, conservation biology, disease ecology, marine mammal ecology or related subjects, year round. You may have secured a personal scholarship already, or may be interested in developing a proposal and are seeking an academic sponsor. Please email me via the Contacts page.

Please see our Faculty of Biological Sciences graduate school page for information on scholarship schemes and how to apply.