PhD Ecosystem Biology and Sustainability

The primary focus of the Ecology, Evolution, Behaviour and Environmental Economics research cluster is fundamental and applied aspects of ecology, environmental economics, conservation, aquaculture, animal behavior, molecular taxonomy and molecular genetics, particularly involving links between these aspects. The cluster has a high level of research activity involving academic staff, Postdoctoral scientists, and postgraduate research students. The cluster has a high level of research activity involving academic staff, Postdoctoral scientists, and postgraduate research students.


  • Animal behavior/communication
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Coastal and deep-water marine biology
  • Ecological management
  • Economics of water quality and sustainable catchment management
  • Ecosystem ecology, modeling and mathematical biology
  • Freshwater biology/fish biology
  • Invasive species and their impact
  • Molecular ecology, systematics, and phylogeography in algae, plants, invertebrates, fish, and mammals
  • Sustainable aquaculture of shellfish and algae
  • Urban land use, economics, and management
  • Valuing biodiversity, agri-environment schemes and outdoor recreation including use of GIS and spatial econometrics
  • Wildlife ecology, especially of birds and mammals


A research degree offers you the opportunity to develop your research skills and prove yourself as a researcher. Queen's is committed to the enhancement of research training and teaching and offers postgraduate research opportunities across all fields of study. The following postgraduate research study routes for this subject area are:



The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.


Registration is on a full-time or part-time basis, under the direction of a supervisory team appointed by the University. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of three years of full-time registration for PhD, or two years for MPhil (or part-time equivalent).


International students (where English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for the English language for visa purposes. Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component (*taken within the last 2 years) is required.

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme.


The group has a wide range of strong international and national links and it benefits from applied research centers such as Quercus, which specializes in conservation biology and biodiversity. The School is also closely involved in the University's Institute for a Sustainable World.

Students have access to modern laboratories and offices based in the Medical Biology Centre, close to the main Lanyon site. Students also have access to the University's Marine Laboratory, which is located in Portaferry, directly at the Narrows of Strangford Lough (the largest sea lough in the British Isles) and these facilities are used by resident staff and students as well as associated researchers from Queen's and international visitors.

Due to Northern Ireland's unique geology, mild climate, relatively long coastline and a long history of settled agriculture, we have a wide variety of interesting habitats, which provide a stimulating and challenging environment for those wishing to pursue research in these areas.


Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts help our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated July 17, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2019
3 years
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Start Date
Sep 2019
End Date
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Sep 2019

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