We welcome postgraduate students and visiting research fellows who wish to undertake research in our areas of interest (see below). Research students are registered for a University of London degrees (PhD) and work under the supervision of members of academic staff. Students may receive financial support (research studentships) offered by the research councils (including CASE studentships in collaboration with an industrial sponsor). A limited number of College studentships are also available.
See also: the website for the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
Students with upper-second class (or better) BSc honours degrees or equivalent are eligible to apply for admission to research degrees.
For international students, please refer to the International students section.
Biological and experimental psychology
Research in this area focuses on the ultimate (evolutionary) and proximate (genetic, developmental and neurobiological) mechanisms responsible for cognition and behaviour.
A central consideration for this group concerns cognitive evolution and the biological basis of human social behaviour. We also place a strong emphasis on the experimental approach to research problems in these fields of psychology.
Recent topics in which world-class work has been conducted includes physical reasoning and social cognition in Corvids, colour perception in bumblebees, the transmission of cultural information in humans using evolutionary models, the biological origins of human sexual orientation, sex differences in cognition, the use of zebra fish as a model behavioural assay of addiction, visual attention and search in humans and non-human animals, the role of Cannabinoid signalling in neural processes, social evolution in mole rats, gene-brain interaction in mammalian reproductive behaviour, the utility of Drosophila models of circadian rhythms, face processing and imitation, and the philosophy of mind.
For more information see: http://psychology.sbcs.qmul.ac.uk
Ecology and Behavioural Biology
Within this group are two major research themes of international significance: aquatic ecosystems and behavioural/evolutionary ecology, particularly of social animals. Together, these themes give a distinctive and strong coverage of modern ecosystems and organismal ecology. Included within the aquatic ecosystems theme is one of the strongest freshwater ecology research groups in any British University.
Research by the group includes population and community ecology, empirical and theoretical aspects of food web structure and function, the application of stable isotopes to aquatic ecology, biogeochemical processes, including the production of greenhouse gases from rivers and wetlands, and studies of acidification and eutrophication.
We also have leading experts in the biogeochemistry and ecology of estuaries, coastal margins and salt marshes. Included in the behavioural ecology of social animals theme, we have world-leading research on the foraging biology of bees, the social organisation and mating systems of communally roosting bats, and the (eu)sociality of the mole rats. We also have excellence in the behaviour, ecology, management and conservation of wild mammals, on the role of termites in the productivity and sustainability of tropical agriculture, and on the role of pathogens and parasites in sexual selection and behaviour in insects.
For more information see: www.sbcs.qmul.ac.uk/research/researchgroups/ecologybiology
Evolutionary and Organismal Biology
The Evolutionary and Organismal Biology Group is internationally recognised for using post-genomic approaches to investigate the evolution and functions of genes and proteins at an organismal level using a range of model organisms, including plants, invertebrates, fish and mammals. An underlying theme is a recognition of the importance of comparative and functional genomics in modern systems biology. It encompasses research on chromosome evolution in plants, transposable elements in insects, functional genomics and developmental biology (using vertebrates and invertebrates as model systems), molecular neurobiology (eg endocannabinoid signalling), behavioural genetics (eg circadian biology of Drosophila) and population genetics of humans and other animals.
This research utilises a range of methods including bioinformatics, analysis of cell and tissue structure, analysis of gene and protein expression and the impact of gene-knockout on phenotypes, in vitro physiology and pharmacology and analysis of whole-organism behaviour.
For more information see: www.sbcs.qmul.ac.uk/research/researchgroups/evolutionaryandorganismalbiology
Materials chemistry and Interfaces
Research in the materials and interfaces area combines expertise in synthetic methodology along with a wide range of sophisticated analytical techniques in order to design and develop new materials, to investigate and predict their properties, and to characterise interfacial structure and chemical reactions at surfaces.
For more information see: Centre for Materials Research website
Mechanistic and Structural Biology
Mechanistic and structural biology has traditionally been strong at Queen Mary, and activity in this area has accelerated over the past five years.
We have particular research excellence in: (i) photosynthesis and bioenergetics at the molecular and cellular levels; (ii) protein structure and structure/activity relationships in peptides, proteins and enzymes; and (iii) in the synthesis of biologically relevant molecular systems.
We use a variety of approaches including cloning and over-expression, mechanistic enzymology and structure determination utilising X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy. We have modern and well-equipped facilities for these techniques and also for a variety of other spectroscopic approaches, including circular dichroism, both continuous wave and pulsed EPR and ENDOR, confocal microscopy, Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching (FRAP) and fluorescence spectroscopy.
For more information see: www.sbcs.qmul.ac.uk/research/researchgroups/mechanisticandstructuralbiology
Synthetic chemistry at Queen Mary has seen resurgence in recent years with the appointment of a number of new staff. Our main interests lie in: (i) the development of new synthetic and catalytic methodology; (ii) the total synthesis of natural products and their analogues as drug candidates; (iii) molecularly imprinted polymers for application as artificial receptors and catalysts; (iv) ultrafast electron transfer and (v) molecular machines for application to the synthesis of complex molecules and materials. We have excellent laboratories to undertake this research in the state-of-the-art Joseph Priestley Building. We are also supported by outstanding research facilities, including an array of NMR, EPR and ENDOR and mass spectrometers, single crystal X-ray crystallography and a range of analytical facilities commensurate with contemporary synthetic chemistry.
For more information see: www.sbcs.qmul.ac.uk/research/researchgroups/syntheticchemistry