Project Supervisors:

Supervisor 1 Dr Luca Börger (Biosciences, College of Science)
Supervisor 2 Dr Rowan Brown (College of Engineering)

Closing date for applications: 15 December 2015

Project description:

Movement is a fundamental behaviour, allowing organisms to obtain food, escape risks and to respond and survive to environmental change. However, movement research has so far ignored two key determinants (i) the energetic cost of movement through a dynamic landscape and (ii) the costs/benefits of social interactions. Historically, this is attributed to the difficulty in obtaining high resolution movement and energetic expenditure data. The Daily Diary technology developed by the SLAM laboratory is a GPS/accelerometer attachable device, capable of high sampling rates (sub-second, 40Hz) for long periods (months), providing the opportunity to combine three key areas of research:

Movement ecology – current research does not include energetic considerations;
Optimal foraging theory – presently focussed on food-derived energy, not environmental;
Social interactions –little exists on social interactions and movements of group-living organisms.

The project will collect unprecedented high resolution data and develop novel mathematical models, to quantify the role of these three aspects of animal movement. The project will be based in the Lautaret and Bauges international field stations of LECA Grenoble, in the Alps/pre-Alps around Grenoble. Uniquely detailed spatial information is available at these sites, allowing food resources, landscape energetics and environmental/social conditions for the animals to be robustly determined. This will provide for the first time a realistic understanding of the causes and consequences of animal movements, using ungulates (cattle, sheep, chamois) grazing on alpine mountain slopes as study system.

This is an interdisciplinary project between Biosciences and Engineering, with an international collaboration with Dr Sandra Lavorel and Dr Anne Loison of the LECA (Laboratoire d’écologie alpine) CNRS group and the Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble (France), and Dr Jonathan Potts of Sheffield University. Strong interpersonal skills but also the capacity to work independently, under outdoor conditions as typical of alpine environments, will be required. Strong quantitative skills and the willingness to learn and use programming and statistical and mathematical methods will be as important as fieldwork skills. French language knowledge is not required, but the capacity and a keen interest to work and interact in a multicultural research environment will be indispensable.


Candidates must have a first honours or a Masters degree (with Merit), in a relevant discipline. Informal enquiries before the deadline for formal applications are welcome by emailing (Dr Luca Börger).

Please note the start date of this scholarship is 1 April 2016 or 1 July 2016 (at the latest).


This is a three year fully-funded Swansea University scholarship, open to UK/EU candidates. The student will receive an annual stipend of £14,057 (2015/2016 stipend; 2016/2017 stipend to be confirmed), plus full UK/EU tuition fees.

How to apply:

Applicants must complete and submit the following documentation by the stated deadline.

To apply for this studentship, please download the research scholarship application form and return it to the College of Science with the following:

Academic References – all scholarship applications require two supporting references to be submitted. Please ensure that your chosen referees are aware of the funding deadline, as their references form a vital part of the evaluation process. Please either include these with your scholarship application or ask your referees to send them directly to [email protected]
Academic Transcripts and Degree Certificates – academic transcripts and degree certificates must be submitted along with the scholarship application by the funding deadline. We will be using these to verify your academic qualifications.
A recent CV
Applicants should use the ‘Supplementary Personal Statement’ section of the application form to explain why the award they are applying for particularly matches their skills and experience and how they would choose to develop the project.

Please email the documents to [email protected] or post them to:

Recruitment and Marketing Team
College of Science
Wallace Building
Swansea University
Singleton Park
Swansea SA2 8PP

Le contenu de cette offre est la responsabilité de ses auteurs. Pour toute question relative à cette offre en particulier (date, lieu, mode de candidature, etc.), merci de les contacter directement.

Pout toute autre question, vous pouvez contacter [email protected].