PHD Thesis. Understanding the global ocean zooplankton diversity and its response to climate change
Models have been invaluable in understanding the impact of climate change on the ocean and its ecosystems. While the physics of ocean circulation is well understood, modelling the ecology of marine plankton is at the cutting edge of science. Progress has been made with a number of phytoplankton groups (see ref) but zooplankton such as foraminifera have been underrepresented despite their importance for the ocean and biogeochemical cycles (Schmidt et al., 2006). This PhD will create a unique representation of planktic foraminifera in the global ocean MITDarwin model (http://darwinproject.mit.edu/) based on key ecological tradeoffs of foraminifera in relation to calcification, temperature, food sources and size (Schmidt et al., 2004). The student will explore importance of ocean acidification, temperature, and oxygen stressors on the distribution and diversity of foraminifera in the global ocean. The ultimate goal of the project is to make projections of the impact of future climate change on the marine plankton community and feedbacks with atmospheric pCO2.
The PhD student will learn how to use and develop complex marine ecosystem models, with statistical and modelling skills highly transferable to a wide range of jobs as well as being highly in demand in academic research. The student will develop expertise in marine plankton ecology and physiology. The student will be part of the dynamic BRIDGE group – an internationally leading centre studying natural Earth system variability, based within the School of Geographical Sciences (http://www.bris.ac.uk/geography/), as well as be part of the vibrant Palaeobiology group in the School of Earth Sciences (http://www.bristol.ac.uk/earthsciences/). Bristol is one of the top-five universities for research in the UK with a formal Graduate School and excellent facilities for doctoral research. The Ph.D. project will be part of the European Research Council project “PaleoGENie” under the direction of Andy Ridgwell.
Student profile: 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, Earth Sciences (or Geophysics), Environmental Sciences, Oceanography, Mathematics, Physics, Biology or Chemistry. Full funding is available via the European Research Council to UK citizens and EU
How to apply: Please send your CV and a letter of motivation as well as 2 names for references to Fanny Monteiro (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 30th June. The interview will be in July either in Bristol or via Skype