[Coral-List] Living Oceans Foundation Fellowship Program

Andrew Bruckner Bruckner at livingoceansfoundation.org
Tue Jan 11 11:21:38 EST 2011

The application period for the Living Oceans Foundation graduate and PostDoc fellowship program is now open.  The Living Oceans Foundation is seeking two fellows during 2011 to participate in the Global Reef Expedition (GRE).  The fellow must conduct research that contributes to our understanding of coral reef resilience.  All work must be done as one component of our GRE, with work conducted at the sites visited during the Expedition. The fellows would be expected to participate in all research missions, serving as a part of the core scientific team.  The fellowship can be for a minimum of 1.5 years (focusing only on the Caribbean legs of the mission) or for 3-5 years with work conducted in the Caribbean, Pacific and Indian Ocean and Red Sea during all legs of the Expedition.  Please see the synopsis below for more information and visit www.livingoceansfoundation.org  for more information and application materials.

The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation (Foundation) sponsors graduate fellowships for doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers conducting applied research that will contribute to improved management and conservation of coral reef resources and habitats.  In 2011, the Foundation will support up to a maximum of two new dedicated and hard working individuals interested in contributing to research activities conducted during a multidisciplinary three year global coral reef expedition (see www.globalreefexpedition.com<http://www.globalreefexpedition.com/>). These individuals will have research opportunities in a number of locations in the wider Caribbean, South Pacific, Southeast Asia, Indian Oceans and Red Sea spanning the period of 2011-2015. The primary objectives of the Expedition are to map and characterize remote coral reefs and conduct coral reef ecosystem health assessments across gradients of human and natural disturbance.  In each country a dedicated team will conduct baseline coral reef assessments using a rapid assessment protocol that combines attributes of the Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment protocol and the IUCN Resilience Assessments (to bleaching)..  A major focus of the research will involve characterization of resilience factors with emphasis on 1) determining global and local processes that control the functioning of these ecosystems, 2) assessing impacts from acute disturbances and how patterns of recovery vary across biophysical gradients and 3) identification of strategies that can help mitigate impacts and improve coral reef resilience.  Areas of research should include one of the following:

1) Identification of factors that impart ecological resilience to global threats facing coral reef ecosystems (e.g., climate change) and how these indicators vary across gradients of human and environmental stressors;

2) Characterization of key biological processes (e.g., reproduction and recruitment, predation, competition) that drive coral reef ecosystem health, and how diversity, productivity, habitat structure, anthropogenic disturbances, environmental determinants and other factors affect these processes;

3) Evaluation of the functional roles of different organisms (e.g., in preventing and or reversing less desirable phase shifts), the degree of functional redundancy among key fish and coral species, and interrelationships with other species;

4) Elucidating genetic connectivity within and between reef systems and the roles of biological factors (e.g., life history traits) and physical factors;

5) Evaluation of bioindicators that enhance the ability of corals to resist environmental stress, such as cellular-diagnostic markers (e.g., heat shock proteins), genetic diversity of algal symbionts and associated microbial communities, and clonal structure within reefs;

6) Characterization of geological, physical and environmental processes that structure reef communities;

7) Evaluation of climate change parameters, with emphasis on measures of sea water chemistry (e.g., alkalinity, carbon dioxide) and relationships with calcification processes and adaptation potential of reef building organisms, and

8) Characterization of coral disease processes, causes and impacts, and linkages with human stressors and climate change.

The Living Oceans Foundation Fellow will receive up to $35,000 per year fellowship grant to cover legitimate educational and research expenses such as tuition and research field-work expenses. Fellows may receive 1) up to four continuous years of financial support, based upon annual performance reviews, for work conducted during all legs (Caribbean, Pacific, Indian Ocean and Red Sea) of the Expedition, or 2) 1-2 years support for specific (e.g. Caribbean only) legs.   Candidates must demonstrate excellent oral and written communication skills and have the knowledge and expertise needed to develop and implement a research activity related to the mission of the Foundation and its role in marine conservation.

Master's and Ph.D. fellows must engage in a thesis or dissertation that has direct application to the planned Living Oceans Foundation Global Reef Expedition.  These candidates must also meet the requirements of graduate programs at accredited universities.  All applicants must engage in research during the Global Reef Expedition, and be on board the Golden Shadow during each research mission.  Research can also include field sampling during the Expedition, with sample processing undertaken at the Fellow's home institution between legs of the Expedition.

The Living Oceans Foundation typically supports up to a maximum of four fellowships per year upon discretion of the Board of Directors.

Please see http://www.livingoceansfoundation.org<http://www.livingoceansfoundation.org/> and click on "Fellowships" for more information and full application criteria and requirements.  Applications can be submitted by email to Bruckner at livingoceansfoundation.org<mailto:Bruckner at livingoceansfoundation.org> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by mail to:

Dr. Andrew Bruckner
Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation
8181 Professional Place, Suite 215
Landover, MD 20785 USA

Deadline for application: March 31, 2011

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