PhD opportunity: ”Effect of ocean acidification on natural Southern Ocean phytoplankton communities”, University of Otago, New Zealand

Climate change related stressors such as ocean acidification and ocean warming will expose marine phytoplankton to enormous changes in their environment with so far widely unknown effects on for phytoplankton communities. The majority of research on this topic has concentrated on analyses of a single stressor or a single species in laboratory experiments. This PhD project will investigate multiple stressor effects on natural Southern Ocean phytoplankton communities over the course of at least two years. The collected dataset will be used to model effect of future environmental changes on the Southern Ocean marine ecosystem.

The PhD student will receive training in all aspects of this project from participating in collection of seawater samples on board the Otago research vessel Polaris, using especially designed incubators with precise pH control, and measuring phytoplankton species composition and activity using a combination of different methods including: microscopy, flow cytometry, FRRF, metagenomics, and metatranscriptomics.

The successful applicant would be expected to be eligible for and to apply for a University of Otago PhD scholarship.

For more information about the project please contact:

Dr. Linn Hoffmann
Department of Botany
University of Otago New Zealand
e-mail: linn.hoffmann(at)

Dr. Tina Summerfield
Department of Botany University of Otago New Zealand
e-mail: tina.summerfield(at)

More information about scholarships at Otago can be found here.

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