Funded PhD Opportunity

Computational and Mathematical Modelling of Predator-Prey Systems

Subject: Computer Science and Informatics


Summary

In recent decades a range of new areas of research have arisen at the interface between computer science, applied mathematics and biology. These include mathematical biology, bioinformatics, evolutionary computing and artificial life. On the one hand, the study of complex biological systems and analysis of large biological datasets require significant computational resources, while on the other hand, biological processes have inspired new approaches to computational problems. Of particular relevance to this project is the fact that the evolutionary dynamics of ecological systems are becoming increasingly amenable to computational modelling.

The focus of this project is on predator-prey models which allow for mutation amongst species and resultant natural selection. Such systems can be modelled via a set of coupled discrete time equations that are then solved computationally.

The aim of the project is to analyse the existence of chaotic behaviour within the system, the emergence of species diversity, and the conditions that allow a stable ecology to develop.

The project builds on work from  previous PhD projects, with a selection of previous publications being:

G. Abernethy and M. McCartney (2016) Analysis of a Class of Low-Dimensional Models of Mutation and Predation. International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos, 26 (11). 1630029-1-1630029-13.

G. Abernethy, M. McCartney and D.H. Glass. The Interaction between Predator Strategy and Prey Competition in a pair of Multi-Predator Multi-Prey Lattices, Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation, 56, 9-33, 2017.

G. Abernethy, M. McCartney and DH Glass. The Robustness, Link-species Relationship and Network Properties of Model Food Webs, Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation, 70, 20-47, 2019.


Essential criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC)
  • Sound understanding of subject area as evidenced by a comprehensive research proposal

Desirable Criteria

If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.

  • Publications record appropriate to career stage
  • A comprehensive and articulate personal statement
  • Applicants will be shortlisted if they have an average of 75% or greater in a first (honours) degree (or a GPA of 8.75/10). For applicants with a first degree average in the range of 70% to 74% (GPA 3.3): If they are undertaking an Masters, then the average of their first degree marks and their Masters marks will be used for shortlisting.

Funding

    The University offers the following awards to support PhD study and applications are invited from UK, EU and overseas for the following levels of support:

    Vice Chancellors Research Studentship (VCRS)

    Full award (full-time PhD fees + DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £15,000 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training studentship grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Bursary (VCRB)

    Part award (full-time PhD fees + 50% DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £7,500 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training studentship grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fees Bursary (VCRFB)

    Fees only award (PhD fees + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training studentship grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Department for the Economy (DFE)

    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £ 15,009 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fee’s component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided). For Non-EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK. This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training studentship grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Due consideration should be given to financing your studies; for further information on cost of living etc. please refer to: www.ulster.ac.uk/doctoralcollege/postgraduate-research/fees-and-funding/financing-your-studies


Other information


The Doctoral College at Ulster University


Reviews

As Senior Engineering Manager of Analytics at Seagate Technology I utilise the learning from my PhD ever day

Adrian Johnston - PhD in Informatics

Watch Video  

Key dates

Submission deadline
Friday 7 February 2020

Interview Date
Late March 2020


Applying

Apply Online  


Campus

Jordanstown campus

Jordanstown campus
The largest of Ulster's campuses


Contact supervisor

Dr Mark McCartney


Other supervisors

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