Ph.D studentships: “The influence of ocean acidification on nutrient cycling and food quality in coastal plankton communities”, NIWA/University of Otago, New Zealand

Studentships offered jointly by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in Wellington and the Department of Chemistry, Department of Marine Sciences, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Program overview and research goals

The program is seeking one, and possibly two, applicants for Ph.D studies in Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecology.

The aim of the Ph.D research is to establish the influence of future ocean acidification and warming on organic matter cycling and food quality in coastal plankton communities. This will include analysis of amino and fatty acid concentrations and isotopes, using gas chromatography and state-of-the-art mass spectrometry techniques, and also bacterial and phytoplankton process rate measurement and community characterisation.

The research will primarily be carried out using a new mesocosm facility at NIWA Wellington, in which temperature, light and pH are manipulated, with analytical development and measurement at NIWA’s Environmental Stable Isotope Facility and the Departments of Chemistry and Marine Sciences at the University of Otago.

Target group

The successful applicant(s) will be expected to start by February 2016, and will spend equal time between NIWA, Wellington and the University of Otago, Dunedin. The research is a component of the Coastal Acidification: Rates, Impacts and Management (CARIM) project, which is funded for four-years by the NZ Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise.

Applicants should have a good degree (BSc (Hons) or MSc) in Marine Biology, Chemistry or Marine Sciences, with experience of measurement at sea or analytical method development in the laboratory. Experience with microbial molecular work is also an advantage. Generous scholarships to cover fees and living costs are available through the University of Otago for suitably qualified applicants.

Further information

For further information and application, please contact Professor Cliff Law at .

For more information on postgraduate opportunities at the University of Otago, please visit .


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