Nematode genomics and metagenomics to address agricultural threat




3 years

Application deadline:

Friday 6 March 2020

About this project

The THYME project brings together the bioeconomy expertise of the Universities of Teesside, Hull and York, to find research solutions to decrease our reliance on non-renewable energy resources and drive innovation in the way we manage land assets. Our region has the potential to become world leading in securing food, water and energy whilst adapting to the challenges of climate change.

The Energy and Environment Institute at the University of Hull is offering funded PhD scholarships as part of the THYME project to work with academic research leaders across the University to focus on the following priority areas within the bioeconomy.

Nematode genomics and metagenomics to address agricultural threat

Crop pests and pathogens cause very significant losses to agriculture and are a continuing threat to an efficient agricultural bio-economy. Plant parasitic nematodes parasitize all human crops and are responsible for very large losses in agricultural productivity worldwide. There are two global challenges to agricultural management of plant parasitic nematodes. Firstly, our lack of understanding of the basic biology, genetics, and diversity of parasitic nematodes in both agricultural fields and close non-agricultural habitats. This can be addressed by the application of modern high throughput genomics and bioinformatics. The second challenge concerns the efficient translation of our modern techniques and knowledge to the benefit of the end user, usually the farmer, government agency, or agri-industry.

This project will build on our world class research, and publication record in the area of plant parasitic nematode genomics. It will investigate the nature of divergence of different plant parasitic nematode species, and how they may have adapted to exploit unique crops and environments. The project will take both a global view of pathogen divergence and diversity and focus this towards its relevance for the regional bioeconomy.

Please contact Dr Dave Lunt if you have questions.

The University's Postgraduate Training Scheme (PGTS) provides a range of generic and discipline-specific modules to support research students through their programme.

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The Doctoral College provides support to postgraduate research students. Offering skills development opportunities and dedicated facilities, the college is here to help you achieve your potential. 

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Research at Hull tackles big challenges and makes an impact on lives globally, every day. Our current research portfolio spans everything from health to habitats, food to flooding and supply chain the slavery.

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This is a funded scholarship over a three year period. The funding you receive will cover the fees for your PhD programme and also an annual maintenance grant at the level of UKRI (£15,009 in 2019), depending on satisfactory progress.

There is an optional writing up period if you need to complete your thesis after the three year period of your research degree, for which there is a small charge. Your maintenance grant will not cover you during this optional writing up period.

Entry requirements

We are looking to appoint an applicant with demonstrable relevant computational genomics skills, the ability to work in python or shell scripts in a reproducible manner, and the desire and knowledge to address fundamental questions with this biological system. Applicants for this project should have a first class undergraduate degree in biological science with relevant research experience. A 2:1 may be considered if combined with relevant experience.