Project proposal details

Please look carefully through the proposal details below. If you are interested in the project then contact the supervisor, explaining why you are interested and any background which makes you a good fit for the project.

If this is an external project, the lead supervisor may have suggested someone at Imperial College or the NHM who could act as an internal supervisor and you should also contact them. If the project is external and no internal has been proposed then you must find an internal supervisor before starting the project.

Please pay close attention to any extra notes on requirements (such as being able to drive or to speak particular languages) or the application process. There may be specific limitations on the project availability: if there are then they will be clearly shown further down the page.

Project title
The role of population genetics in a captive bat colony.
Contact name
Louise Gibson / Andrew Cunningham
Project based at
Zoological Society of London
Project description
The Eidolon helvum fruit bat (Straw coloured fruit bat) is found to exist throughout sub Saharan Africa. Since 2007, the Bats & Bugs project has been studying this species and their link to zoonotic viruses and spillover. In 2009/2010 a research colony was established in captivity. The facility which houses the bat colony exists on the grounds of Accra Zoo, Accra, Ghana where they are cared for by trained keepers.
No work has previously been done to look at the population genetics of our research bat colony. However, any findings could be substantial in helping answer key research questions linking viral persistence, immunogenetics and population structure.

The project will involve:
• Lab work, training and competent use of extraction kits, multiplex PCR kits, capillary gel electrophoresis and microsatellite analysis.
• Working alongside others and independently.
Additional requirements
• Good organisation and attention to detail. • Good record keeping. • Good database management. • Ability to learn new techniques and use analysis software.
Date uploaded
2020-01-17

Project proposal limitations

The project proposer has indicated that there are some limitations to the availability of this project. It may only be available at certain times of year or suit a specific project length. It may also need skills taught to students on a particular course or courses.

Research project proposals are usually part of an active research programme. If supervisors have stated limitations to a proposal, then they are unlikely to have any flexibility. If you are very interested in the topic but have problems with the stated limitations, the supervisor may still be happy to talk to you about other options around the proposal, but you should not expect that any alternative arrangements can be made.

Project length limitations
3.5 months, 5 months
Available date limitations
Winter (January), Spring (April-May)
Suitable for
Ecology Evolution and Conservation