PhD project: Vulnerability of marine invertebrates living along latitudinal and depth gradients to complex global environmental changes

FACULTY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
SCHOOL OF MARINE SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

Marine Institute Funded PhD Research Studentship

Supervisors:
Dr Piero Calosi, Plymouth University
Professor Paul Shaw, University of Aberystwyth
Dr William Cheung, University of British Columbia

Project Description
As a result of on-going rapid global changes (warming, acidification, de-oxygenation) some areas of our oceans are becoming inhospitable for some marine organisms. In addition as marine animals are in general adapted to the conditions they live in, different populations and species living along environmental gradients may possess different levels of vulnerability to future environmental changes. Despite its paramount importance however, the physiological, ecological and genetic mechanisms which will define taxa vulnerability to complex environmental changes are still poorly understood for marine organisms. As a consequence, our capacity to predict ability of taxa to retain their range edges of distribution and size of their latitudinal range of geographical extension in the face of the global change is limited. We propose a challenging multidisciplinary PhD project which aims to explore the evolutionary macrophysiology of marine organisms within the context of global change. This PhD project will mainly be based at Plymouth University although the candidate will be expected to work for substantial periods of time both at the Population Genetics and Genomics Laboratory of Professor Shaw and at the Changing Ocean Research Unit of Dr Cheung, as well as at sea to participate to collection trips and scientific cruises. Ultimately the physiological, ecological and genetic data collected will be used to build statistical models, and also to parameterise Dr Cheung’s existing Dynamic Bioclimate Envelope Model.

Eligibility
Applicants should be highly motivated, intellectually inquisitive and hard-working individuals with a minimum of a first class or upper second class Marine Biology or Biology-based bachelor degree. Applications from candidates with a relevant Masters qualification will be welcomed. Preference will be given to candidates with some experience with the investigation of the ecophysiology and ecology of marine invertebrates (particularly in relation to global change drivers), as well as those with some experience in undertaking field and boat work. It is considered advantageous, but not essential, for candidates to have some familiarity with either or both molecular ecology (DNA marker) techniques and mathematical modelling.

Funding

The studentship will have a three year duration and will cover full-time Home/EU tuition fees plus a stipend of £13,590 per annum. The position is open to all applicants, although candidates required to pay overseas fees must be able to cover the difference between Home/EU and overseas tuition fees (approximately £9,450 per annum).

For further information on the project or for an informal discussion, please contact Piero Calosi at piero.calosi(at)plymouth.ac.uk.

For an application form and full details on how to apply, please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/postgraduate. Applicants should send a completed application form, CV and a covering letter detailing their suitability to Mrs Carole Watson, A108 Portland Square, Plymouth University, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA or via email to c.watson(at)plymouth.ac.uk.

Closing date for applications: 12 noon, 22nd July 2012

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview at the end of August/beginning of September. Applicants who have not received an offer of a place by the 22nd of August 2012 should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.


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