View Full Version : PhD Studentship available

07-16-2008, 06:50 PM
Dear All,

I have the following PhD studentship available looking at primate
locomotion in a field context. Some extra information can be found at:


If anyone is interested or would like more information then feel free
to contact me directly. The start date is the end of September this


Pads v. Claws in Arboreal Locomotion: Mechanics of Predator-Prey
Principal investigator(s): Dr Bill Sellers (William.Sellers@manchester.ac.uk
Funding: Funding available for eligible UK/EU applicants.
Subject Areas:
Adaptive Organismal Biology
Animal Biology
Evolutionary Biology


This project is a unique PhD opportunity ideally suiting someone with
a computer science, physics, engineering or biomechanics background
but with interests in tropical wildlife. It would also suit someone
from a more traditional zoology, primatology or biological
anthropology background provided they have a high level of computer
literacy. It combines fieldwork on lemurs in Madagascar with
computational modelling of leaping locomotion. The PhD is part of a 3
year Leverhulme Trust funded project based at Liverpool and Manchester
Universities. The project is investigating the evolution of primates
and in particular the biomechanical importance of non-clawed hands
during arboreal locomotion. Hands with fingernails such as those
possessed by primates are very unusual with the vast majority of
arboreal mammals relying on claws for gripping tree branches.
Fingernails appeared early in the primate fossil record and there is
considerable argument over the possible adaptive advantages that these
structures may have conferred. The combination of field observations
and computer simulation will allow us to both record how hands are
used and also to simulate this usage to compare its effectiveness in
an arboreal environment compared to clawed appendages.

The PhD will be based in the 5* rated Faculty of Life Science at The
University of Manchester. Training in all necessary techniques will be
given and the prospective applicant must be prepared to spend
approximately a year in Western Madagascar radio-tracking lemurs. The
studentship is available to UK/EU citizens and includes full UK/EU
fees and a stipend to cover living expenses. International citizens
may apply but must be able to arrange funding to cover the remaining
proportion of the fees each year (currently around 9,600 per year).

For application details go to:


Dr. Bill Sellers Email: William.Sellers@manchester.ac.uk
Lecturer in Integrative Vertebrate Biology Skype: wisellers
Faculty of Life Sciences Tel. 0161 2751719
The University of Manchester Fax: 0161 2753938
Jackson's Mill, PO Box 88 Mob: 0785 7655786
Sackville Street, Manchester, M60 1QD, UK http://homepage.mac.com/wis/ASL/