PhD studentship: The implications of ocean acidification in combination with chemical stressors for juvenile fish

Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
University of Exeter

The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and University of Exeter are offering a 3 year funded doctoral studentship to commence 1st October 2011: tuition fees (UK/EU rate only) and annual stipend of £13,590 pa.

Supervisory team: Dr Rod Wilson and Professor Charles Tyler (Exeter) plus Professor Tom Hutchinson, Dr Matthew Sanders and Dr Will Le Quesne (Cefas)

Location: University of Exeter, Streatham Campus, Exeter and Cefas, Weymouth

Project summary:
In the last decade there has been growing scientific concern over ocean acidification (OA) caused by the uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by human activity and how this will affect marine organisms, biodiversity, habitats and ecosystems. Studies have already identified potential impacts of OA on various aspects of fish health with concerns for these effects on fisheries. Fish have also recently gained new importance in our understanding of global marine biogeochemical cycles, through their gut excretion of calcium carbonates and the role this plays in ocean chemistry. This contribution of fish is also predicted to increase in response to future OA and temperature scenarios.

This PhD studentship will address a major knowledge gap on the potential for interactive effects of OA with important coastal marine contaminants in the early life stages of commercially relevant flatfish species. The experimental exposure studies will be conducted using bespoke facilities already present at the Cefas Weymouth laboratory. Effects will be studied using a combination of molecular, physiological and bio-imaging tools to examine key endpoints to reveal any potential for interactive effects of OA and toxicant stressors. The student will thus receive training in a wide variety of experimental methods and will benefit from working within large, vibrant and interdisciplinary research teams on a highly topical project with direct applications for advising fisheries management.

Study information

Entry requirements:

A strong first degree (at least an Upper Second Class Honours or equivalent) in a relevant subject

Funding information

Funding applies to:
EU applicants (including UK)

Contacts and how to apply

Academic contact:

For informal enquiries contact: Dr Rod Wilson:

Administrative contact and how to apply:

In order to apply you will need to complete an online web form where you must submit some personal details and upload the following documents:
• CV
• Covering letter (outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake this project).
• Transcript
• 2 references (if your referees prefer, they can email the reference direct to

Application deadline:

2 May 2011, Web site.

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