[Coral-List] Bachelor thesis proposal - benthic cyanobacteria in a coral reef

bpiltz at mpi-bremen.de bpiltz at mpi-bremen.de
Mon Jan 24 11:36:45 EST 2011

Dear Listers,
we are offering a bachelor thesis dealing with the morphological and
genetic identification of benthic cyanobacteria from the reefs of curacao
(see following text).
The project will be based in Bremen and Bremerhaven, Germany.
please forward or propose this to your motivated and interested students!
Bastian Piltz
Msc student MPI-MM, Bremen

Open position:  Bachelor thesis
Benthic Cyanobacteria in the Caribbean
A new challenge for coral reefs

Coral reefs worldwide, and especially Caribbean reefs, are facing numerous
environmental and anthropogenic threats including eutrophication,
overfishing and rising sea temperature.
In degraded reefs, reports of mass developments of benthic cyanobacteria
are becoming more and more frequent. These fast growing organisms can
benefit from changing conditions and colonize free substrates such as dead
coral. Thereby they compete with coral recruits and other benthic organisms
for space, which jeopardizes the persistence of coral reefs. These global
threats call for a thorough investigation of the role of benthic
cyanobacteria in coral reefs.
To assess the diversity and abundance of cyanobacteria on the coral reefs
of Curaçao (Netherlands Antilles), a large scale survey was conducted as
part of the EU project FORCE (Future of Reefs in a Changing Environment,
www.force-project.eu). Benthic cyanobacteria were photographed and sampled
across several depth gradients along the leeward coast of the island. The
aim of this bachelor project is the morphological identification of these
samples and the genetic analysis of their phylogeny.
We offer:
excellent research facilities and professional supervision through a
collaboration of the Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT), the
Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology (MPI-MM) and the Carl von
Ossietzky Universität, Oldenburg. The successful applicant will gain
training in the morphological identification of tropical cyanobacteria and
in genetic analysis.
Upon the delivery of a dedicated work, co-authorship on a publication in a
high ranking journal may be offered.If the applicant holds a diving
certificate; a field trip for supplementary sampling could be possible.
We are looking for:
a highly motivated student with an interest in coral reef ecology and
tropical marine microbiology. The applicant should have experience with
microscopy and be able to work independently. Basic training in genetic
analysis (16S Phylogeny) is desirable. Proficiency in written and spoken
English is essential.
We invite you to apply for this project (CV, letter of motivation) and take
the opportunity to set a foot in the exciting fields of coral reef ecology
and marine microbiology, and to be part of our motivated research team. 
Expected starting date: ≈ March 1, 2011 for a period of 3-4 months
including 1 month of training.
Application deadline: February 15, 2011 or as soon as a suitable candidate
has been found.
To apply, please send a motivation letter and CV to the contact address
Contacts: hannah.brocke at zmt-bremen.de or bpiltz at mpi-bremen.de

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