About the Project
Reaching Net-Zero greenhouse gas emissions requires extensive changes across the UK economy, where energy innovation is playing a vital role. The UK want to significantly increase biomass production in the UK as a key part of this strategy, however doing so at pace presents significant challenges. This project involves an innovative rapid alternative cultivation system for dedicated bioenergy feedstocks.
As part of this project, which has multiple academic and industry partners, we are interested in the impact of cultivation environment on growth, performance and expression of preferential traits. The student will be responsible for designing and conducting trials in a controlled environment room and using aeroponic cultivation technology for the nursery stage of tree/biomass production. We will look at impacts on growth as well as the expression of preferential traits in collaboration with Rothamsted Research.
We are looking for committed and enthusiastic applicants with a background in plant science. Experience in plant breeding, plant genetics and general lab/cultivation experience is desirable. Experience in controlled environment agriculture, soilless cultivation or vertical farming is welcomed.
The successful applicant will be supervised by Dr Zoe M Harris and will be based at the Centre for Environment and Sustainability. We have a vibrant, interdisciplinary research community tackling the biggest issues faced by society globally and host high profile guest lectures from government and industry. You will receive comprehensive research training and opportunities to participate in conferences, workshops, and seminars to develop professional skills and research network.
This PhD is split across two sites. The growth rooms are based at Rothamsted Research in Harpenden. This is where we expect you will spend the majority of you time, so students must be able to work from this site and travel to the University of Surrey for group meetings and to conduct lab work.
Supervisors: Dr Zoe M Harris, Prof Tao Chen.
This project is open to UK students starting in July 2022.
Applicants are expected to hold a first or upper-second class degree in a relevant discipline (or equivalent overseas qualification), or a lower second plus a good Masters degree (distinction normally required).
English language requirements: IELTS Academic 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category, or equivalent.
How to apply
Applications should be submitted via https://www.surrey.ac.uk/postgraduate/environment-and-sustainability-phd#apply
Please clearly state the studentship title and supervisor on your application.
Please prepare to include your CV, degree certificates and transcripts, 2 reference contacts. Please upload a cover letter detailing your suitability to the role under the research proposal section.
Full tuition fee waiver p.a. Stipend at UKRI rates p.a. (currently at £15,609). Research Training Support Grant of £3,000 to cover the funded period. Funded by the University of Surrey.