Impact of ocean acidification on carbonate structures in marine animals

This project addresses a major NERC/LWEC research goal: to study the responses of marine organisms to ocean acidification and other climate change related stressors and explore their resistance or susceptibility to acidification. It will test the hypothesis that ocean acidification (OA) will influence carbonate production pathways differently according to the mechanisms by which carbonate structures are produced. Such a unifying principle for predicting the impact of OA on carbonate formation across all marine calcifying organisms would have enormous potential impact on climate change science.

The student will take a phylogenetic approach, comparing two molluscs (mussels, limpets) and two fish (cod, sole). Experiments will focus on early life stages, since they are considered to be the most susceptible to the external changes due to a high surface area / volume ratio and poor ability to compensate for change in internal acidity. For fish and invertebrates, early formation of carbonate structures (shell, otoliths, and statoliths) will be studied using a combination of molecular, physiological and bio-imaging tools to examine key steps in carbonate formation and structural/developmental patterns. For invertebrates, studies will focus on the detailed mechanisms and processes controlling early exoskeleton formation. For fish, gut carbonate production will also be measured and compared between larval and juvenile stages.

Further project information is available on the School of Biosciences website at

For informal enquiries contact Dr Ceri Lewis at

Application criteria:
Applicants should possess at least a 2:1 Honours degree, or equivalent, in an appropriate subject and have some experience of field and laboratory work.

How to apply:
To apply, visit and complete the online web form. You will be asked to submit some personal details and upload a full CV, covering letter, and contact details for two academic referees. Your covering letter should outline your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake this project.

For general enquiries please contact Sarah Mudge at

Interviews will be held on Tuesday 23 March 2010.

Funding Notes
Three-year studentship: tuition fees (UK/EU rate only) and annual stipend at current research council rate. International students can apply, but will need to be able to cover the additional fees (£9700 for 2010/11) from their own funds or other sources.

Find A More information.

  • Reset


OA-ICC Highlights

%d bloggers like this: