Adaptive strategies for the management of invertebrate pests in Wales (MScxRes) – Masters by Research Scholarship

Adaptive strategies for the management of invertebrate pests in Wales (MScxRes)

Bangor University with Forest Research

Project ID: BUK2E009
Annual Stipend: £11,586
Application Deadline: 30th September 2020

Invertebrate pests present distinct challenges to sustainable forest management. Recent issues have been caused in the UK by the arrival of species such as Asian longhorn beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) and European spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus), with other significant threats such as Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) on the horizon. Achieving an effective management response to these, and other forest pests and diseases, is a high priority for the many land-management stakeholders involved: policy makers, practitioners and others. Recent social research has investigated tree health governance issues, outbreak policy, and stakeholdership, however, little detail is known about the specific adaptive strategies adopted by land-managers in the UK in response to forest pests on or near their land.

Wales has a long legacy of dealing with invertebrate pests such as great spruce bark beetle (Dendroctonus micans) and green spruce aphid (Elatobium abietinum). It therefore provides an excellent opportunity to examine this adaptive management in detail over space and time, and generate a better understanding of how land-managers respond in practice to the perceived threats and the concrete impacts of tree pests.

This MScxRes project will conduct in-depth literature and documentary review (e.g. forest management plans) along with interviews with land managers to record management actions taken in response to insect pests over time. It will generate data and analysis which will underpin a framework of adaptive management strategies, and inform future policy and support for affected land managers. The successful student will collaborate closely with a second MScxRes researcher focused on understanding the spatial heterogeneity of forest pest disturbance in the Welsh landscape.

This is an opportunity for an excellent student with experience of geographical, sociological or related analysis and an active interest of land management to join a vibrant team of postgraduates and staff at Bangor studying various aspects of forestry, agriculture, and land use, and in particular to contribute to the development of the Sir William Roberts Centre for Sustainable Land Use

Supervisors: Dr Norman Dandy, Bangor University (, Dr Mariella Marzano (Forest Research), and Dr James Walmsley (Bangor University).

This 12 month project is available now. Queries regarding this studentship, including eligibility, should be directed to  To apply for this fully funded position please email a current CV and covering letter (2 A4 pages maximum) stating your relevant interests and experience to and Penny Dowdney by September 30th 2020.

KESS 2 East is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in East Wales on university registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification.