Modelling global ocean diversity of zooplankton and response to climate change

Models are essential to link our multidisciplinary understanding of ocean processes with observations and to make projections of the potential consequences of global change on marine ecosystems and carbon cycling. Considerable progress has been made in representing the physics of ocean circulation and more recently in the ecology of phytoplankton(seeFigure) ,but the representation of zooplankton such as foraminifera, which play a key role in transforming the fluxes of carbon and nutrients fixed by phytoplankton as well as in producing calcium carbonate, has to date been limited.

This PhD will create a unique representation of planktic foraminifera in the global ocean MIT-Darwinmodel (Follows and Dutkiewicz, 2011)based on key ecological understanding of foraminifera in relation to calcification, temperature, food sources and size (Schmidt et al., 2004). This will enable the importance of ocean acidification, temperature, and oxygen stressors on the distribution and diversity of foraminifera in the global ocean to be explored and projections made of the impact of future climate change on the marine plankton community and feedbacks with atmospheric pCO2.

We seek a highly motivated and independent candidate interested in an interdisciplinary understanding of the Earth system and the marine ecosystem and with a strong numerical background. Candidates should have a degree in  Geography, EarthSciences  (or Geophysics), Environmental Sciences, Oceanography, Mathematics, Physics, Biology or Chemistry.


Dr Fanny Monteiro (School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol)
Dr Daniela Schmidt (School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol)
Prof Andy Ridgwell (School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol)
Dr Jorn Bruggeman (Plymouth Marine Laboratory)

University of Bristol. More information.

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