UK PhD project on cold-water corals

Murray Roberts mr-t at
Thu Mar 13 11:30:56 EST 2003

Please pass this advertisment to potential applicants.

The Scottish Association for Marine Science is advertising for applicants
for a three year PhD project to investigate 'A carbon and nitrogen budget
for the cold water coral Lophelia pertusa'.

Applicants should have, or expect to obtain a first class or upper second
class honours degree in an appropriate subject. Natural Environment Research
Council (NERC) eligibility rules will apply for some of the studentships.
For further information including an application form please write to Ms C
Bonomy, Scottish Association for Marine Science, Dunbeg, Oban, Argyll,
Scotland PA37 1QA. Project descriptions are also posted on our web site: Deadline for application is 8 April 2003.

Please note that NERC eligibility criteria may restrict applicants to UK
nationals, for further information please contact Ms C Bonomy at the above

Background to project
In the last ten years our understanding of the distribution of cold-water
corals has increased dramatically. With greater survey effort over the
continental shelf and slope vast reef areas have been discovered off for
example the Norwegian and Irish coasts. However, we understand very little
of the basic biology of the species that create these deep-water reef
frameworks. This project will focus on the dominant cold-water coral species
in the NE Atlantic, Lophelia pertusa. By studying coral growth, respiration
and nutrition we will provide fundamental insights into the biology of this
species. Laboratory study of live coral will be directed using environmental
data collected from the reef environment using a purpose-built benthic photo
lander. Isotopic and fatty acid analyses of corals collected during offshore
cruises will help understand the trophic status of these species. The
overall aim of the project is to develop a simple model of the fluxes of
carbon and nitrogen thr!
ough L. pertusa and to extrapolate this to the reef environment. The
successful candidate should have a sound biological training and experience
of biochemistry and physiology would be an advantage. The student will join
a current PhD student also working on cold-water corals and would be
expected to work for short periods offshore for which full training will be

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