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Department of Zoology

Student at laboratory workbench

Enabling graduate students to thrive in a collaborative and vibrant community

We are looking to provide fully-supported Master’s or PhD studentships for very bright, well-qualified graduates who wish to start a research career in Zoology. Having independently funded studentships significantly increases our ability to fund such students flexibly and effectively.

Two students write about their research supported by Whitten Studentships, which were donated by a private benefactor.


Amelia Hood (PhD 2015 - 2019) 

The effects of habitat management on biodiversity and ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations in Sumatra, Indonesia

In oil palm plantations there is often a diverse understory beneath the tall palm trees. Management of this understory is highly variable: some plantation owners chemically remove it, while others allow it to regrow. I experimentally tested the impact of understory vegetation management on biodiversity and ecosystem function and found that retaining vegetation was better for many animal taxa, including Leopard cats and ants.

I am extremely grateful to have had this opportunity to work in the University of Cambridge, and in the nurturing community in the Zoology Department in particular.


Madeleine Emms (2017 - 2022) 

Demography of Red Sea reef fishes since the last glacial period

I used population genetics to study how different Red Sea reef fish species were affected by large-scale marine habitat loss and fragmentation during the last glacial maximum when the ice sheets were at their greatest extent and there was a large global drop in sea levels.

This studentship has enabled me to study at Cambridge, to work on a relevant and exciting project in this time of environmental change, and to develop more collaborations with colleagues by the Red Sea – a fascinating environment in itself.


How can you help?

For further discussion, please contact:

Dr William Foster 

Director of Alumni Relations, Department of Zoology


Marc Hornby
Head of Development – Biological Sciences