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Biological Sciences – Graduate Teaching Assistant PhD Studentship

PGRs working on biological sciences projects are normally housed in the Department of Biology.

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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, and others 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.

“I have never known a postgraduate offering to be so focused on the development of their students. I’ve grown in skill, confidence and understanding of my research area!”

Giles Briscoe – PhD Postgraduate Researcher


Please direct all enquiries about proposed projects on topics related to biological sciences to Dr Anne Oxbrough, Graduate School research degree contact for biological sciences, by emailing [email protected] stating the specific research theme/s of interest from the research themes list.

Research themes


  • Enhancing biodiversity in plantations through sustainable management approaches (potential supervisor: Dr Anne Oxbrough).
  • The value of forest canopies for invertebrate conservation (potential supervisor: Dr Anne Oxbrough).
  • Landscape genomics of the West Canary skinks (potential supervisor: Dr Marcio Pie).
  • Grassland species Connectivity in the UK landscape (potential supervisor: Professor Paul Ashton).
  • The Honduran Fern Flora Project – how taxonomy can help to plan for better conservation strategies (potential supervisor: Dr Sven Batke).
  • Epiphytes in Brazil – understanding large scale biodiversity patterns (potential supervisor: Dr Sven Batke).
  • Determination of mosquito pollination potential and nectar feeding behaviour using eDNA and electron microscopy (potential supervisor: Dr Thom Dallimore).

Genetics and evolution

  • Finding the unfindable. Can we census vertebrate populations in the tropics using fly poo DNA? (Potential supervisor: Dr Thom Dallimore).
  • Atypical stress response mechanisms in the early branching eukaryote Trypanosoma brucei (potential supervisor: Dr C-P Ooi).
  • Characterisation of antibiotic biosynthetic gene clusters from Actinomycetes using molecular genetics and synthetic biology (potential supervisor: Dr Lorena Fernández-Martínez).
  • Study of ecology and or evolution of Actinomycetes in soil microbial communities with (potential supervisor: Dr Lorena Fernández-Martínez).
  • Epigenetic variation in an ecological context (potential supervisor: Professor Paul Ashton).

Biomedical science: new therapies for diseases

  • Investigation of the pathophysiology of ochronotic pigmentation in alkaptonuria (potential supervisor: Dr Jayne Charnock).
  • Investigating strategies to stimulate inflammatory cell clearance of bacteria during hormone-driven ageing (potential supervisor: Dr Mohamed El Mohtadi).
  • Stimulating host-pathogen interactions in vitro (potential supervisor: Dr Mohamed El Mohtadi).
  • Moving towards human 3D modelling void of animal-sourced components and media (potential supervisor: Dr Katja Eckl).
  • Modulation of cell survival in cancer via the PERP route (potential supervisor: Professor Luminita Paraoan).
  • Understanding how and why vision declines with ageing. What can we do? (Potential supervisor: Professor Luminita Paraoan).
  • Novel therapies for neurological diseases (e.g. ischaemic stroke, childhood brain cancers, dementia) (potential supervisor: Dr Adjanie Patabendige).
  • Understanding blood-brain barrier disruption in CNS disease (potential supervisor: Dr Adjanie Patabendige).