[Coral-List] Project for a MSc/ Mres student on coral and anemone physiology at the Monaco Scientific Centre

Alexander Venn alexandervenn at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 12 09:29:57 EST 2009

Dear Listers,

RE: Project for a MSc/ MRes student on coral and anemone physiology 
at the Monaco Scientific Centre.  

We are seeking a motivated graduate student to conduct a research 
project on the influence of light on intracellular pH in symbiotic 
cnidarian cells. The project fits into a wider programme of research 
conducted at the Monaco Scientific Centre that concerns the 
physiology of tropical and temperate corals in the context of global 
environmental change, particularly ocean acidification. http://www.centrescientifique.mc/csmuk/presentation.php. The student 
will be joint supervised by Dr Sylvie Tambutte (Team Leader of the 
Physiology and Biochemistry Group) and Dr Alexander Venn. 

The proposed project will provide the graduate student with the 
opportunity to acquire skills in cell biology, with an emphasis on 
the application of physiology to environmental issues. The applicant 
will need to be already enrolled in a masters programme at another 
institution, but the proposed project may fill part or all of a 
student's requirement for research experience. The student will 
preferably have some laboratory experience with a background in 
physiology or cell and molecular biology. Duration of the project is 
flexible with a maximum of 6 months, with a flexible start date from 
January 2010. All bench fees/ laboratory costs are covered by CSM and 
a bursary of 300 euros per month is available. 

The Monaco Scientific Centre ("Centre Scientifique de Monaco" or 
"CSM") is a world leader in coral physiology, particularly in the 
areas of biomineralization and symbiosis. Although primarily a French 
speaking laboratory, CSM provides an international research 
environment, regularly hosting researchers from locations such the 
US, Australia and Japan (thus English is widely spoken). CSM is 
currently housed in the Monaco Oceanographic Museum and funded by the 
Government of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. 

Short project synopsis: 
The cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis underpins coral reef 
ecosystems. The ecological importance of corals and their 
vulnerability to environmental change has led to growing interest in 
cnidarian physiology (see Weis and Allemand 2009 What determines 
coral health? Science, 329, 1153-1155). We have recently developed an 
approach to measure intracellular pH in corals and symbiotic 
anemones, a fundamental parameter that influences most aspects of 
cell physiology (Venn et al. 2009 Imaging intracellular pH in a reef 
coral and symbiotic anemone. Proceedings of the National Academy of 
Sciences of the USA. 106 (39) 16574-16579). The purpose of the 
proposed project is to build on our preliminary data and investigate 
how intracellular pH in host cnidarian cells is modified by the 
photosynthesis of intracellular algae under different environmental 
conditions. The project will use the symbiotic anemone Anemonia 
viridis as a model. 

The student may have the opportunity to apply for a fully funded 
Ph.D. on this topic at CSM starting in October 2010. 

Interested candidates should send a CV to Sylvie Tambutte stambutte at centrescientifique.mc and Alexander Venn alex at centrescientifique.mc 


Alexander Venn 
Postdoctoral Associate
Centre Scientifique de Monaco (CSM)
Avenue Saint-Martin
MC-98000 Monaco
Principality of Monaco
+377 97770873


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