Understanding how multiple stressors impact ecological communities

About the project or challenge area

Species globally are threatened by multiple stressors, from the local scale impacts of overfishing, to the global effects of climatic change. Of particular concern to conservation biologists is the potential interaction of these stressors, which might have catastrophic impacts on ecological populations and communities world-wide. This project will investigate how stressors such as climatic change, overharvesting, and habitat fragmentation may interact to alter the extinction risk of species in small-scale experiments, and what measures might be implemented to reduce the risk of species extinctions.

Why choose this opportunity?

You will have the opportunity to learn not only about how stressor impact ecological communities, but also how to design and run laboratory experiments which are designed to help us make decisions about conservation in the real world. In particular, you will get taught how to design and 3D print experimental arenas in which to carry out experiments, visually identify the different species we use in these experiments, and analyse these data to help inform conservation practice.

About you

Whilst there are no specific skills which are required for this project, you will have a keen interest in learning about conservation issues, and spending time carrying out experiments and collecting data in a laboratory setting. An understanding of statistics in a biological context would also be useful.

Bench Fees


How to apply

All students can apply using the button below, following the Cabot Masters by Research Admission Statement. Please note that this is an advertised project, which means you only have to complete Section A of the Research Statement.

Before applying, we recommend getting in touch with the project's supervisors. If you are interested in this project and would like to learn more about the research you will be undertaking, please use the contact details on this page.


Your supervisor for this project will be Dr Christopher Clements, Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences. You can contact him at +44 (0) 117 39 41203 or email c.clements@bristol.ac.uk.

Find out more about your prospective research community

The Environmental Change theme is a vibrant community of researchers who integrate expertise across multiple disciplines to provide the evidence base and solutions to tackle the world's most pressing environmental challenges. Find out more about the Environmental Change research theme.

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