[Coral-List] Internships available working on sponges with field work in Barcelona

balexander at porifarma.com balexander at porifarma.com
Sun Jul 3 16:21:45 EDT 2011

Do you want to be involved in cutting-edge, innovative, marine biological
research? We are looking for enthusiastic, ambitious young scientists!

Project Overview: Are there currently unknown recycling pathways in
aquatic ecosystems that can change our view on how these ecosystems
function? And can we control the growth of sponges for the production of
new medicines, antibiotics, biomaterials and bio-filters?

Recent studies on the tropical reef sponge Halisarca caerulea have
revealed the rapid proliferation and turnover capacities of their
choanocytes. Our current work focuses on determining if this phenomenon
commonly occurs in other sponge species from various habitats including
tropical, temperate and freshwater. This project aims to provide evidence
for the ‘Sponge Loop’ which suggests that sponges play a key role in
energy recycling within coral reef ecosystems. A second aspect of this
project is to use the newly discovered cell kinetics of choanocytes in the
development of a controlled in vivo production platform for sponge
biomass, with the aim of enabling the sustainable production of bioactive
secondary metabolites produced by sponges.

Location/methods: Preparation period at the University of Amsterdam (UvA)
starting the beginning of August, then ~6 weeks of field work at the
Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC), Barcelona starting mid-August.
Field work will involve SCUBA diving to collect live sponges and
performing experiments in running seawater aquariums. Analysis period at
the UvA will involve lab work including histology, cell biology and
molecular techniques.

Requirements: You must be at least an open water diver with some diving
experience and have good lab skills in molecular/cellular biology.

Contact: Please send your CV and short cover letter to Brittany Alexander
(B.E.Alexander at uva.nl) or Jasper de Goeij (J.M.deGoeij at uva.nl).

More information about the Coral-List mailing list