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Graduate Teaching Assistant PhD Studentships Biological Sciences

All postgraduate researchers (PGRs) are registered in the University’s Graduate School and housed in the faculty or department that is most appropriate for the project on which they are working. PGRs working on biological sciences projects are normally housed in the Department of Biology.

The research priorities in Biological Sciences at Edge Hill University span three interlinked strands: Ecology, Genetics and Biomedical Science:

  • Ecology research priorities into forest adaptations to climate change, mitigating impacts of habitat change on biodiversity, conservation of species in rare habitats. Projects use plants, invertebrates and amphibians to explore how to sustainably manage grasslands and forests in different contexts across the globe.
  • Genetics research priorities include insect vectors of disease, plant evolution, divergent eukaryotic stress response mechanisms, soil microbiology and antibiotic discovery.
  • Biomedical Science research priorities include regulation of cell signalling in cancer and degenerative conditions, endocrine hormone expression, gene expression in specialised tissues involved in diseases of the brain, eye, skin, etc with translational potential to rare skin diseases, pregnancy complications, age-related conditions, wound healing, gene therapies and nanotherapeutics.

Across these biological sub-disciplines, we collaborate with researchers from around the Globe as well within Edge Hill University, utilising cutting-edge technologies.

The University in this recruitment round particularly welcomes applications for studentships in the project areas outlined below with additional research information on the research area webpages. All PGRs will be supported by a supervisory team with appropriate expertise. Also, see the University’s research repository for further information on the research outputs of each member of staff.


In the first instance please direct all enquiries about proposed projects on topics related to Biological Sciences to the Graduate School with Dr Anne Oxbrough, Graduate School Research Degree Contact for Biological Sciences included.

Research themes

Ecology and evolution

  • Enhancing the biodiversity value of lowland agricultural landscapes through silvo-pasture and woodland connectivity.
  • Gene flow and landscape connectivity in plant communities.
  • Saproxylic species in plantations forests: deadwood and biodiversity.
  • The value of forest canopies for invertebrate conservation.

Genetics and vector biology

  • Doing things differently: how does the early branching protist Trypanosoma brucei manage stress?
  • Characterization of novel antibiotic biosynthetic gene clusters from Streptomyces species.

Biomedical new therapies for diseases

  • In vitro models of placental vasculogenesis.
  • Placental cell function and the environment in utero.
  • Polycystic Ovary Disease and developmental programming.
  • Heart disease and risk of developing dementia/stroke (collaboration with US industry partner): focus on blood-brain barrier.
  • Novel therapies for neurological diseases (e.g. ischaemic stroke, childhood brain cancers, dementia).
  • Mechanisms of hormone regulation in the pituitary gland.
  • Inflammatory cytokines in endometriosis-induced infertility.
  • Regulation of cell signalling for cell death/survival in cancer.
  • Function of the retinal pigment epithelium in supporting the retina and vision in health and ageing: role of resistance to apoptosis in long-lived cells.