UK: PhD Studentship Assessing Distribution of Epidemic Disease Vectors by Remote Sensing and Earth Observation Data Mining at University of Ulster

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Description: The proposed research is part of a funded project by European Space Agency and involves collaboration with the project partners. The research will centre on the development of a novel predictive model that can be used to predict the distribution and density of epidemic disease vectors, which is composed of three major aspects. Firstly by employing retrieval techniques of parameter inversion and pattern recognition, the project will carry out a range of analyses over imagery data recorded by the satellites and then extract environmental factors, including surface temperature, surface height, soil moisture, vegetation index and land cover, etc. Secondly through investigating the relation between environmental factors with the distribution and density of epidemic disease vectors, the project will focus to the develop data analytic algorithms for constructing prediction models on the basis of the two algorithms previously developed. The first is called Classification by Cluster Analysis (CBCA), which is an integration of supervised and unsupervised learning approaches. The second is referred to as Cluster-Based Classifier Ensemble (CBCE), which is developed on the basis of similarity or distance measures metrics. Finally, a comparative analysis will be performed to evaluate the algorithms to be developed over unseen satellite and field survey data, the evaluated algorithms will be integrated to a prototype system for dynamically monitoring spatial-temporal distribution of vector-based diseases and early warning to be developed by the project partners.

Eligibility: Candidates should have ordinary UK residence to be eligible for both fees and maintenance. Non UK residents who hold ordinary EU residence may also apply but if successful will receive fees only. All applicants should hold a first or upper second class honours degree in Computing, Remote Sensing, Geographic Information System, Electronic Engineering, Environment and Public Health or a cognate area. Applications will be considered on a competitive basis with regard to the candidate’s qualifications, skills experience and interests. A successful candidate will enrol as soon as possible, on a full-time programme of research studies leading to the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Stipend:The studentship will comprise fees together with an annual stipend of £13,726 and will be awarded for a period of up to three years subject to satisfactory progress.

For further information: on the application process please visit our website:http://research.ulster.ac.uk/info/prospective/apply.html
For further information on the project please contact Dr Yaxin Bi (
y.bi@ulster.ac.uk)

The closing date: for applications is 29th November 2013.
Interviews will form part of the selection process and are likely to be held at the beginning of December 2013.

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