Self-funded PhD opportunities

Urban Ecological Networks

  • Application end date: Applications accepted all year round
  • Funding Availability: Self-funded PhD students only
  • Department: Department of Geography
  • PhD Supervisor: Dr H Rumble

Research Project Code - GEOG1331015

The Department of Geography, University of Portsmouth has a position for doctoral (phD) research available for three years (full-time) for a suitably qualified candidate to start in February or October 2016 (UK or EU students only). Applicants are invited to submit a research proposal in the area of ecology/environmental geography. 

Dr Heather Rumble (Lecturer in Urban Sustainability) (see is interested in supervising a student in the following research area: 

Urban Ecological Networks – analysis of the quality and connectivity of urban habitats, including green infrastructure (GI) and urban greenspaces. Previous research has shown that urban greenspaces and GI are extremely variable in quality and that use of GI in particular is limited to highly mobile species. This project would investigate this theory by: 

  • Examining key indicator organisms, such as invertebrates and soil microarthropods in the field 
  • Modelling the distribution of these organisms 
  • Performing manipulative experiments to further our knowledge of best planning practise in terms of providing urban habitat 
  • Analysing population distributions of highly mobile, successful urban species 

Dr Rumble’s work is multi-disciplinary in nature. Applicants are therefore expected to engage with disciplines outside of ecology/environmental geography, including social science, civil engineering and biochemistry. 
Staff web pages also provide more information on individual research interests and the specific projects that staff members have recently undertaken The department also advertises research themes for Masters projects (MRes Science) – see the pdf for Geography under Course structure at 

Applicants for the PhD programme are expected to have a good first degree (minimum upper second class Honours degree or equivalent) and ideally a Masters (or equivalent) in a relevant subject area. Non-accredited research and skills training is available through the University-wide Graduate School. If you so wish, you may discuss your ideas informally with Dr Heather Rumble (tel: 023 9284 6540: e-mail: ) or email We will also be happy to answer any questions regarding the application process. 

How to apply:

To apply or make an enquiry, please visit postgraduate research: Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Applications should use our standard application forms and follow the instructions given under the ‘Research Degrees’ heading on the following webpage:

When applying please note the project code - GEOG1331015

Alternatively you may receive a hard copy by contacting the Faculty of Science, Postgraduate Admissions Office, St. Michael's Building, White Swan Road, Portsmouth, PO1 2DT. Tel: +44 (0)23 9284 5550. 

Funding Notes:

This is currently for self-funded applicants. Periodically, funded positions (including tuition and maintenance grant) become available, and when this is the case, the funded positions will be advertised on this website. For other applications (welcome at any time) tuition fees will be payable for three years, full-time study (£3,996 per year – UK and EU students only).