[Coral-List] Open position: MSc Thesis / Diplomarbeit for Experienced Diver - Benthic Cyanobacteria in the Caribbean: A new challenge for coral reefs

Hannah Brocke hannah.brocke at zmt-bremen.de
Tue Jul 5 12:06:18 EDT 2011

*Open position: _MSc Thesis / Diplomarbeit for Experienced Diver _- 
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.

During the last years, dense mats of benthic cyanobacteria have become 
more prevalent on coral reefs. Although benthic cyanobacterial mats have 
always been a part of the ecosystem, the proliferation of these mats has 
been associated with widespread signs of reef degradation. These fast 
growing organisms colonize substrates, such as sediment, macroalgae and 
corals, and impair coral recruitment. Their global development calls for 
investigations on the factors determining their abundance on coral reefs.

Benthic cyanobacterial mats may be superior competitors, especially in 
eutrophic conditions. To test this hypothesis, the project will 
investigate the primary production and nutrient uptake of the mats and 
other benthic groups under different nutrient regimes. The results will 
then be incorporated in an ecological model to help reef management in 
the Caribbean region. The research will be carried out as part of the EU 
project FORCE (Future of Reefs in a Changing Environment, 
www.force-project.eu <http://www.force-project.eu/>) and in joint 
collaboration with several FORCE partners and the Max Planck Institute 
for Marine Microbiology (MPI-MM).

Upon the delivery of a dedicated work, *co-authorship* in a publication 
in a high ranking journal may be offered. A *field trip* to Curaçao, 
Southern Caribbean, is scheduled for three months starting mid September 

*_We are looking for_* a highly motivated student with an interest in 
coral reef ecology and tropical marine microbiology. The applicant 
should be an experienced diver, at least Advanced Open Water, and hold 
preferably a boat license/ VHF Operator’s Certificate. The candidate 
should be able to work independently as well as in a team. Physical 
fitness is important as well as feeling comfortable working in and on 
the water. 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: July/August 2011* (1 month preparation time / 3 
month field trip / rest month sample processing and thesis writing).

Application deadline: As soon as a suitable candidate has been found.

To apply, please send a letter of motivation and CV in English to 
hannah.brocke at zmt-bremen.de <mailto:hannah.brocke at zmt-bremen.de>

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