Effects of ocean warming and acidification on diatom silicate formation

We invite applications for a fully funded PhD position on a three-year project to assess the impact of ocean warming and acidification on the general health, macromolecular composition, silicate formation and sinking rates of diatoms. Diatoms are one of the most diverse and ecologically important group of microalgae in the ocean, whose growth and silicification (cell-wall formation using silica) is modulated by their environment. Understanding to what extent growth and silicification are stimulated or inhibited by concurrent changes in temperature and ocean acidification, as a result of increasing atmospheric CO2, is needed to enable reliable predictions on the future role of diatoms in ocean food webs and biogeochemistry. Through a combination of laboratory and field studies (including algae culturing and incubation experiments, chemical analysis, FTIR-microspectroscopy as well as ship expeditions for sampling and on-board experiments), the candidate will explore the physiological response of diatoms to future ocean conditions and be responsible for collecting data that will be used to model projections of these changes to predict how ongoing global warming will change ocean ecology and biogeochemistry.

Who is eligible?

Applicants must be either permanent Australian residents or New Zealand citizens. To be eligible for this application, you must hold the following or equivalent degree in Microbiology; Marine Biology; Environmental Science:

  • Honours degree with First Class, or
  • MSc Research

Selection process

We are looking for a highly motivated candidate that thrives in an intellectual environment, has good attention to detail and is thorough in their work from data collection to organisation and presentation. Good data processing and analytical skills and working knowledge of basic chemistry are a plus. Experience working with microalgae (culturing and microscopy) would be ideal.

How to apply

Applicants should send their CV, list of publications, and selection criteria to Dr Katherina Petrou  by the closing date. Shortlisted candidates will be advised with further details.

Need more information? Contact…

Please contact Dr Katherina Petrou  for further information.

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