MRes Outreach Bursary in Biosciences: Effects of ocean acidification on crustacean behaviour

Research Summary: Applications are invited for an MRes Outreach Bursary in Biosciences. The student will carry out a lab-based project exploring the effects of ocean acidification on crustacean behaviour. The increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is changing the chemistry of the oceans with broadly unknown consequences for marine life. These chemical changes, which can be summarised as a decrease in both the pH and availability of biologically useful forms of carbonate, are collectively termed ocean acidification. Recent work has demonstrated substantial changes in fish behaviour when exposed to near-future ocean acidification conditions and proposed a mechanism: disruption in neurotransmitter reception. As the neurotransmitter involved is highly evolutionarily conserved, we are interested in whether behavioural effects will also be observed in another phylum: Crustacea

The successful candidate will devise and carry out experiments to monitor the behaviour of two crustacean species under normal and near-future (1,000 ppm) concentrations of carbon dioxide. The candidate will closely monitor behaviour over a period of months, with particular focus on boldness and olfactory senses in response to predation.

Outreach Summary: The MRes bursary is tied to Swansea Univeristy’s College of Science schools outreach proogramme, S4. The research undertaken for this project will aid and enhance the teaching aspect of the S4 bioscience program, with an emphasis on marine biology. Experience of postgraduate level bioscience and shoreline fieldwork is essential, as is experience in scientific outreach delivery.

Funding:  This bursary is available for UK/EU applicants only and covers full UK/EU tuition fees plus a maintenance grant of £6070.

Applicant requirements:

  • Upper second class first degree, or postgraduate qualification in Bioscience
  • Passion for marine biology, with a keen interest in producing research with impact
  • Experience of shoreline fieldwork
  • Experience of delivering outreach and hands-on workshops to pre- and post-GCSE educational groups
  • Experience of planning and delivering workshops on animal behaviour, DNA extraction, biochemical reactions and related subjects
  • Some knowledge of  issues surrounding  the safe delivery of  off-site outreach to under 18s would be an advantage.

For further information, please contact: Dr Ed Pope, e.c.pope@swansea.ac.uk

Closing date:  28 February 2014

How to apply

Applicants must complete and submit the following documentation by the stated deadline.

To apply for this studentship, please download the research scholarship application form and return it to the College of Science with the following:

Academic References – all scholarship applications require two supporting references to be submitted. Please ensure that your chosen referees are aware of the funding deadline, as their references form a vital part of the evaluation process. Please either include these with your scholarship application or ask your referees to send them directly to Sandra Kramcha.

Academic Transcripts – academic transcripts must be submitted along with the scholarship application by the funding deadline. We will be using these to verify your academic qualifications.

Applicants should use the ‘Supplementary Personal Statement’ section of the application form to explain why the award they are applying for particularly matches their skills and experience and how they would choose to develop the project.

Please either post the documents to:

Mrs Sandra Kramcha
College of Science
Wallace Building
Swansea University
Singleton Park
Swansea SA2 8PP

or send them by email to: s.kramcha@swansea.ac.uk

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