CDT in modelling and quantitative skills in ecology and evolution

Please note all enquiries relating to student recruitment should be directed to the CDT.

Number of notional studentships awarded: eight per year for three intakes.
Academic partners: Imperial College London (academic lead partner), University of Reading, Cefas, UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) and Zoological Society of London.


The Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in modelling and quantitative skills in ecology and evolution was awarded to the Quantitative and Modelling Skills in Ecology and Evolution (QMEE) consortium.

Modern environmental science is increasingly reliant on quantitative modelling approaches, facilitated by rapid advances in computational technology that are accelerating our understanding of ecological and evolutionary processes. This CDT will train the next generation of UK environmental scientists in various aspects of data collection, modelling, statistical analysis and inference.

NERC has invested about £2 million to support this CDT and academic and industry partners have committed to support additional training opportunities. The CDT will provide training between 2017 and 2023.

This CDT will support 24 postgraduate students funded by NERC over three student intakes between 2017 and 2019.

Research areas and training

The CDT will offer training with a focus on ecosystems and relevant evolutionary processes, linking theory with data collection, assimilation, analysis, interpretation and visualisation, leading to prediction, with modelling at its core. Studentships will include training in the following areas:

  • use/development of statistical and computational tools
  • high throughput data collection, assimilation and analysis
  • development of theory, and integration of theory into models
  • mathematical modelling of ecological systems on diverse temporal and spatial scales
  • quantitative population ecology
  • quantitative evolutionary inferences
  • integration of data from the wider environmental sciences into ecological/evolutionary models.

In addition to undertaking scientifically challenging research, students will gain specialist skills in these priority areas, be regularly brought together as a cohort to share ideas and skills, and also develop broader transferable skills that can be applied across the environmental sciences and in their future careers.

Further information

Further information about this CDT can be found on the QMEE website, or by contacting the NERC Talent and Skills Team at

All enquiries relating to student recruitment should be directed to the CDT.

Last updated: 28 June 2022

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have some quick feedback or help us improve your experience by taking three minutes to tell us what you think of the UKRI website.