Project proposal details

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Project title
Death in paradise: effects of pesticide fogging on the invertebrate community on a small tropical island
Contact name
Richard Gill
Project based at
Silwood Park (Imperial)
Project description
Small islands harbour a large proportion of the endemic species on earth. They are also fragile ecosystems and vulnerable to human perturbations. Pesticide usage on small tropical islands is common, especially for tourist islands looking to reduce pest species that pose an annoyance or local inhabited islands wanting to control disease vectors. However, inadvertent impact on non-target species are likely to have serious consequences to the functioning of these fragile ecosystems. Yet few studies have actually investigated how communities of organisms respond to pesticide applications on such self-contained islands. We therefore have limited knowledge as to the degree of impact this is having on key functional groups. Two projects may be available: 1) a guaranteed desk-based project which will analyse the difference in terrestrial invertebrate communities across the island in relation to pesticide application; 2) a possible field-based project in the Maldives to conduct repeat follow-up work to determine how invertebrate biodiversity has responded to a recent reduction in pesticide usage on the island (>80% decrease).
Additional requirements
No major prerequisites for this project. If wanting to do a field-based project, would need to be willing to live on a small island for 2.5 months.
Available support
Gill lab has experience working with insect communities and has been to the studied Maldivian islands on multiple occasions which covers your food and accomodation. Flights will also be covered.
Date uploaded
2020-10-02

Project proposal limitations

The project proposer has indicated that there are some limitations to the availability of this project. It may only be available at certain times of year or suit a specific project length. It may also need skills taught to students on a particular course or courses.

Research project proposals are usually part of an active research programme. If supervisors have stated limitations to a proposal, then they are unlikely to have any flexibility. If you are very interested in the topic but have problems with the stated limitations, the supervisor may still be happy to talk to you about other options around the proposal, but you should not expect that any alternative arrangements can be made.

Project length limitations
3.5 months, 5 months, 9 months
Available date limitations
Autumn (Sept-Oct), Winter (January), Spring (April-May)
Suitable for
Ecology Evolution and Conservation, Ecological Applications, Tropical Forest Ecology MRes, Ecosystem and Environmental Change MRes, Taxonomy and Biodiversity [NHM MSc]