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Two Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) PhD opportunities at the University of Leeds

07 November 2019

Two Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) PhD opportunities at the University of Leeds
The University of Leeds have announced two CASE PhDs. Both PhDs are part of the NERC Panorama DTP and have Yorkshire Water as a CASE partner.


1. Sedimentation and invasive species in rivers: Investigation and trialling of mitigation options relevant to invasive non-native species related sediment inputs to rivers

Excessive sedimentation is known to be a key factor in the deterioration of aquatic ecosystems and removal of sediments costs Yorkshire Water £350,000 per year. INNS not only threaten aquatic ecosystems but also our drinking water supplies. INNS cost the water industry £8 million per year to remove. Species such as Himalayan Balsam and Signal Crayfish may drive increased sedimentation in rivers resulting in increased operational costs and deterioration under the EU Water Framework Directive.

The rate of spread of INNS is increasing and eradication of established invaders is highly unlikely therefore measures to limit or mitigate impacts are required. This research will also identify methods to prevent biodiversity loss, increase amenity value and broader environmental benefits such as ecological resilience, flood risk and water quality.

Full details about this opportunity can be found here: https://panorama-dtp.ac.uk/research/sedimentation-and-invasive-species-in-rivers-investigation-and-trialling-of-mitigation-options-relevant-to-invasive-non-native-species-related-sediment-inputs-to-rivers/

Informal enquiries should be directed to Megan Klaar (m.j.klaar@leeds.ac.uk). The deadline for application is Monday 6th January 2020.


2. Invasive species and water resources: developing the evidence base for effective mitigation to prevent the spread of invasive non-native species through water transfer networks

Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) cost the UK £1.8 billion per annum and are an increasing threat to biodiversity and ecosystems. Zebra Mussels block pipes, Floating Pennywort clogs river intakes and increases flood risk and Signal Crayfish are driving the extinction of our native White Clawed Crayfish.

Changing climate and demography is placing increasing need on Water Service Companies (WSCs) to ensure water supply and demand, hence the transfer of water across rivers and catchments. Accidental translocation of animals and plant fragments during water transfers can lead to the spread of INNS into new rivers and reservoirs. The likelihood of invasion is based on number INNS individuals introduced.

This aim of this studentship is to develop and test new mitigation practices to reduce the spread of INNS during bulk water transfers focusing on key INNS.

Full details of this opportunity can be found here: https://panorama-dtp.ac.uk/research/invasive-species-and-water-resources-developing-the-evidence-base-for-effective-mitigation-to-prevent-the-spread-of-invasive-non-native-species-through-water-transfer-networks/

Informal enquiries should be directed to Alison Dunn (a.dunn@leeds.ac.uk). The deadline for application is Monday 6th January 2020.


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