Jennifer Rowntree

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Dr. Jennifer Rowntree

(Former)

Areas of expertise

  • Plant Evolutionary Ecology
  • Ecological Community Genetics

PhD opportunities

Rhinanthus minor (yellow rattle) is a hemi-parasitic plant often used to restore species rich grasslands. Infection by Rhinanthus can be detrimental to the individual host plant, but beneficial to the community as a whole by increasing plant species diversity. Previous work shows that a complex mixture of factors, both ecological and genetic, determines the outcome of infection for both host and parasitic plants, and hence community structure.
You will use data collected from field and pot experiments to construct network models of interactions between individual plants in the community (host, parasitic and uninfected plants). A key aim is to incorporate within species variability and determine how this affects network structure and function. The project will involve both practical and theoretical ecology. Previous experience of complex statistical analysis and an interest in experimental biology are essential; knowledge of computational programming and experimental design are advantageous. You will be co-supervised by Dr Rowntree and Dr Franks based in Biology and in the York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis (YCCSA). The project provides excellent multi-disciplinary training, will facilitate the understanding of complex and evolving networks and enable the development of predictive models for use as an a priori tool in restoration projects.

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