Funded PhD at the Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity

 Please see below an opportunity to apply for a funded PhD studentship at the Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity at the University of York (UK).

Potential applicants should contact Sabine Clarke, who will be able to advise further.

The timetable for recruitment is

·       Application deadline: Monday 11 January 2021

·       Anticipated interview dates: February 2021

·       Start date: October 2021

The funding will cover fees at UK rates for 4 years and a student stipend at the UKRI national minimum rate for 3.5 years (£15,560 per year for 2021/22).

PhD in Statistics, computing and environmental knowledge in the 20th Century

A PhD studentship is available to explore the contributions to environmental knowledge and innovations in farming made by applied scientists based at agricultural research stations in Britain and its colonies between 1920 and 1970. Statistics and computing became key tools for the study of ecology during the course of the 20th century and this project will unpack the motives for developing these tools and the assumptions that underpinned their use. You will be based in the Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity (LCAB) at the University of York, supervised by leading experts in this field, Sabine Clarke and Calvin Dytham.

Key research questions include:

§  What is the relationship between problem-solving in agriculture and the development of new quantitative methods of analysis involving statistics and computing between 1920 and 1970?

§  What is the relationship between agricultural research and ecology in Britain?

§  What was the relationship between environmental knowledge and the ambitions of government for increasing productivity in farming in Britain and the British empire?

The student will use the archives of agricultural research stations and British scientists, and relevant publications to map the contexts and networks that were important for the production of new techniques for analysing data and their relationship with ecological and agricultural knowledge in the mid-twentieth century.

This project would suit a student with an interest in history (of statistics, computing, ecology or agricultural research) or ecological/environmental science methods and interdisciplinary working. It also has potential for thinking about the ways in which ecologists communicate their methods (not just their findings) to a wider public audience, a key issue in building trust in science amongst society.

LCAB will provide you with a range of opportunities to interact with other PhD students and researchers across departments and institutions, and will support you with additional training as required.

§  Supervisors: Dr Sabine Clarke and Prof Calvin Dytham

§  Home department: History