MPhil, PhD Biological Sciences

Year of entry


MPhil/PhD research in Biological Sciences spans all biological levels, from molecular analyses to ecosystem study.

Enquiries should be directed to Marieke Bloemink .

Available MPhil and PhD supervisors

Dr Asma Ahmed

  • Exploring non-pathogenic biofilms as sustainable biomaterials
  • Process development for production of biofuels and value added products from biomass
  • Bioremediation of industrial and agricultural residues

Dr Emilia Bertolo-Pardo:

  • synthesis of fluorescence chemosensors with potential environmental or medical applications
  • extraction and purification of plant lectins which could potentially be used to protect plants against the action of pests and diseases.
  • educational research in chemistry and science disciplines, especially using technology to enhance the student learning experience of science, and enhancing the teaching-research nexus in the undergraduate curriculum.

Dr Marieke Bloemink:

  • molecular mechanism of muscle contraction in health and disease
  • metal ions in biological systems
  • enzymology and reaction kinetics.

Dr Phil Buckley:

  • ecology of invasive species
  • ecology of rare and endangered species
  • interrogation of archive multivariate datasets.

Dr Joe Burman:

  • identification and implementation of insect pheromones for monitoring rare and endangered species
  • landscape ecology and habitat fragmentation of woodland and grassland habitats
  • biological pest control of scale insect pests in glasshouse environments.

Dr Lee Byrne:

  • understanding how proteins work at the molecular level
  • how a protein's three dimensional structure can affect cellular functions
  • investigating the dynamic motions inherent within proteins using NMR spectroscopy and protein-protein interactions in yeast and plant systems.

Dr Alec Forsyth:

  • Genetics underpinning plant pathogen interactions: viral, bacterial and fungal diseases.
  • Plant secondary metabolites and genetic, biochemical and physical responses of plants to attack by pathogens.
  • Plant tissue culture: overexpression of compounds and regeneration of disease free material.

Dr Katie Fowler:

  • Non-human animal embryology including oocyte and embryo cryopreservation
  • Vitrification Application of time-lapse technology in embryology
  • Comparative genomics

Dr Chris Harvey:

  • biology and ecology of entomopathogenic nematodes and fungi
  • biological control using entomopathogens: increasing efficacy and evaluating risk
  • insect behaviour and species interactions, including between insects and plants.

Dr Simon Harvey:

  • quantitative genetics of complex traits
  • genotype by environment interactions
  • maternal effects in free-living and parasitic nematodes.

Dr Kristofer Leslie:

  • structural biology and biochemistry of microtubule binding proteins
  • molecular dynamics and computational biology of macromolecular systems
  • interaction of potential therapeutic agents with the microtubule and binding partners.

Dr Athina Mylona:

  • Signalling pathways and transcription factors that regulate embryonic stem cell differentiation 
  • Mesoderm formation and neural development in the mammalian embryo
  • Long range chromatin interactions in transcription regulation

Dr Naomi Rintoul:

  • interactions at the plant-soil-root interface
  • heavy metal contamination in soils
  • effects of elevated ozone on grasslands.

Dr Naeem Syed:

  • genetics and epigentics of heterosis in plants
  • role of alternative splicing in abiotic stress tolerance (drought, flooding)
  • circadian clock mediated stress responses of plants to abiotic stresses.

Dr Rodrigo Vega:

  • population and landscape genetics of small mammals in fragmented habitats
  • phylogeography and post-glacial colonisation routes in Europe
  • biogeography and conservation biology of small mammals.

Dr Cornelia Wilson:

  • Exosome biogenesis and their role in cancer microenvironment control
  • ​Molecular pathways of protein degradation in cancer and neurodegeneration
  • ​Protein quality control- the synthesis and role of N-linked sugars

How to apply

Applicants are strongly advised to explore the research interests of available supervisors and to contact the appropriate staff member before making a formal application.

Find out how to apply for a research degree.

Apply Direct / Part-time study

Location Length Start  
MPhil/PhD Biological Sciences apply
Canterbury 42 months full-time September 2020
MPhil/PhD Biological Sciences apply
Canterbury 42 months full-time January 2021
MPhil/PhD Biological Sciences apply
Canterbury 42 months full-time February 2021
MPhil/PhD Biological Sciences apply
Canterbury 42 months full-time February 2021
MPhil/PhD Biological Sciences apply
Canterbury 66 months part-time September 2020
MPhil/PhD Biological Sciences apply
Canterbury 66 months part-time February 2021

Fact file

UCAS institution code

  • C10

Entry requirements

  • If English is not your first language you require an IELTS overall score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5 for most standard undergraduate and postgraduate courses. There are some exceptions and if the IELTS requirement differs it will be specified on the course page.




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Last edited: 17/08/2020 09:33:00