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Thesis topic proposal
 
Zsófia Horváth
Effect of fragmentation on biodiversity in aquatic metacommunities

THESIS TOPIC PROPOSAL

Institute: Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest
biology
Doctoral School of Biology

Thesis supervisor: Zsófia Horváth
Location of studies (in Hungarian): MTA Hungarian Academy of Science
Abbreviation of location of studies: MTA


Description of the research topic:

"Project:
The PhD topic would be part of a running project (FK OTKA ""CLOSER"" 2019-2023, https://metacomlab.com/projects/). The candidate(s) will work as part of a project team already consisting of a postdoc and a PhD student in addition to the PI.

Background:
Human activities in the Antropocene have led to a mass extinction in the biosphere. Habitat loss and climate change are inevitably among the strongest drivers of these events. Even though these impacts are generally acknowledged, we still no little about the underlying ecological processes, the role of connectivity in maintaining biodiversity and its interaction with climate change.

Aims:
To understand the impact of connectivity loss arising from habitat loss on aquatic biodiversity and its interaction with climate change.

Methods:
We will assemble aquatic metacommunities with the help of mesocosms at the Balaton Limnological Institute in Tihany. After disturbing the connectivity network, we will compare fragmented and undisturbed metacommunities, along with communities in isolated and undisturbed habitats within a metacommunity. We will follow biodiversity changes in bacterio-, phyto- and zooplankton communities, and the role of traits in reducing extinction probability under fragmentation and climate change. Communities will be investigated by combining metabarcoding with microscopic taxonomy, and we will analyse data under the metacommunity framework.
There are multiple possibilities for PhD topics. The exact topic is to be decided together with the candidate. (E.g. there is a possibility to target the response of a single taxonomic group like bacteria or algae given the candidate’s past experience and interest, but it is also possible to concentrate on the interaction between fragmentation and climate change.)

Lab homepage:
https://metacomlab.com

Suggested reading:
Horváth et al. 2019 Ecology Letters
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/ele.13260"

Requirements: "Excellent work ethics both independently and as part of a team
Dedication to biodiversity conservation
Interest in learning cutting-edge ecological methods and statistical approaches
High level of proficiency in English (written and spoken)

Advantage:
MSc in microbial or phytoplankton ecology, which you would like to expand by venturing to metacommunity ecology
MSc in terrestrial plant ecology (given the similarity in methods and scientific approach)"

Required language skills: English
Further requirements: 
"Excellent work ethics both independently and as part of a team
Dedication to biodiversity conservation
Interest in learning cutting-edge ecological methods and statistical approaches
High level of proficiency in English (written and spoken)

Number of students who can be accepted: 2

Deadline for application: 2020-05-31


2020. VI. 25.
ODT ülés
Az ODT következő ülésére 2020. július 10-én 10.00 órakor kerül sor a Semmelweis Egyetem Szenátusi termében (Bp. Üllői út 26. I. emelet).

 
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