About this project
Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship evaluating rewilding efforts in the UK marine environment, as part of the University of Hull’s REWILD Research cluster (see “About the research cluster” below for more details of the cluster).
“Rewilding” is a current buzzword in conservation, with intersections over working with natural processes in response to climate driven pressures, yet there is no firm definition of which initiatives constitute marine rewilding, the number of initiatives, nor the effectiveness of rewilding projects. In terms of re-establishing and reintroducing lost and vanishing species, the marine realm has trailed behind terrestrial counterparts, habitat restoration efforts are also more limited in scope. Rewilding the common space of the sea is a complex problem; it is crucial to appraise the governance, policy and implementation challenges prior to widespread uptake of the concept.
This PhD will evaluate the current state of nascent rewilding across UK inshore waters and the policy landscape into which marine rewilding fits. Using social science methods that facilitate dialogue, this PhD would expand on current research with coastal communities to understand the drivers for the “rewilding the sea” concept, the potential for conflict as budding initiatives progress and the feasibility of widespread implementation.
In addition, you will join a collaborative, multidisciplinary and nurturing environment to realise your potential, and will be provided with excellent opportunities for external networking. We will hold regular monthly meetings with the entire cluster, with opportunities to present and discuss research, invite internal and external speakers and collaborators and foster networking.
For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Charlotte Hopkins.
About the REWILD research cluster
REWILD: understanding ecological, environmental and societal costs and benefits of rewilding.
We are experiencing a global climate and biodiversity crisis. Closer to home, more than half of UK species are in decline and a further 15% threatened with extinction. Rewilding - the large-scale restoration of ecosystems by allowing reinstatement of natural processes and missing species - is seen as one potential solution for the protection and recovery of ecosystems. The rewilding of terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats can make a critical contribution to carbon sequestration, flood mitigation, water quality, biodiversity, and human wellbeing. However rewilding can also be highly controversial, with conflicts arising because of competing interests of different stakeholder groups. The REWILD research cluster at the University of Hull is a multidisciplinary team of researchers across biology, environmental science, psychology and systems thinking, working with diverse stakeholders to collectively understand the ecological, environmental and societal costs and benefits of rewilding. Our 6 PhD studentships focus on understanding i) the impacts of rewilding projects on biodiversity, sedimentation rates and carbon sequestration dynamics, ii) the community benefits of blue spaces, and the perceptions, values and challenges of rewilding the sea, and iii) how animal “personalities” drive public perceptions of species reintroductions.
Join us at a webinar on Thursday 16 December at 6pm to find out more about this PhD cluster. Register here.
Other PhDs in this cluster
Uncovering the Biodiversity Impacts of Rewilding on Entire Ecological Communities at a Landscape Scape Using Environmental DNA
Greening Blue Spaces in Hull
Understanding Environmental Adaptability in Wild Mammalian Carnivores: a Multidisciplinary Perspective
Optimising Blue Carbon Storage in Estuaries Using Rewilding and Eco-engineering Approaches
Effective Biodiversity Monitoring of River Rewilding Projects Using eDNA Modelling