The geographical development of invertebrate pest outbreaks in Wales (MScxRes) – Masters by Research Scholarship

The geographical development of invertebrate pest outbreaks in Wales (MScxRes)

Bangor University, with Forest Research

Project ID: BUK2E049
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 impact of scale and geography on land-managers’ responses to forest pests.

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 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 project will utilise spatial analysis, aerial imagery, documentary evidence, and biological survey data to explore the spatial heterogeneity of pest disturbance in the Welsh landscape. It will pay attention to both the ecological (land use) and the management contexts of pest outbreaks and the potential interactions between these. It will generate data and analysis which will underpin a more detailed understanding of spatial relationships between pest outbreaks and management responses. The successful student will collaborate closely with another MScxRes researcher focused on understanding the specific management responses to forest pest disturbance in Wales.

This is an opportunity for an excellent student with experience of spatial analysis and an active interest in 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 http://swrc.bangor.ac.uk/.

Supervisors: Dr Norman Dandy, Bangor University (n.dandy@bangor.ac.uk), 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 n.dandy@bangor.ac.uk.  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 n.dandy@bangor.ac.uk and Penny Dowdney p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk 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.