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PhD Studentship Project Opportunities with Plymouth Marine Laboratory

18 November 2022

PhD Researcher Jasmin Dorinda

Above: PhD Researcher Jasmin Dorinda on the Quest research vessel at the Western Channel Observatory L4 Station, read more about her PML PhD experience here

We are delighted to share new PhD studentship opportunities through ARIES (Advanced Research and Innovation in the Environmental Sciences) Doctoral Training Partnership and CDT SuMMeR (Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Management of UK Marine Resources). 

Please see below for more information about the projects and links for more information and to apply.  


ARIES (Advanced Research and Innovation in the Environmental Sciences) projects: 


Project Description: Dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) is one of Earth’s most abundant organosulfur molecules and Ulva seaweeds, which cause green tides, are prolific DMSP producers. Ulva species produce DMSP as an anti-stress compound and can cleave DMSP to liberate the climate-cooling gas dimethylsulfide (DMS), but the precise role of DMSP in Ulva is unclear. Furthermore, DMSP released by Ulva into the environment has roles in signalling and recruiting beneficial bacteria, which use DMSP as a nutrient and facilitate further DMS production. 

This project will use multidisciplinary techniques to explore how and why Ulva makes and degrades DMSP and to study its interactions with associated bacteria that utilise the DMSP Ulva produces. 

Closing date for applications is 23:59 on 11th January 2023 

More information and apply >> 


Project description: Sulfur plays a key role in the marine atmosphere, and has a major influence on atmospheric particles and climate. Marine sulfur emissions result from natural biological processes as well as anthropogenic activities. Sulfur impacts the composition and acidity of atmospheric particles (aerosols), which is fundamental in atmospheric chemistry and relevant to air quality, ecosystems, and climate. 

The marine atmosphere is changing profoundly: Terrestrial regulations since the 1980s and a 2020 global mandate to reduce ship emissions seven-fold aimed to improve air quality and have significantly reduced anthropogenic sulfur emissions. Furthermore, recent discoveries of new atmospheric sulfur molecules are forcing a radical re-examination of the role of natural marine sulfur in the climate system. Natural/anthropogenic contributions to the marine sulfur burden and impacts on aerosol acidity are poorly understood because there has been no post-2020 assessment of the marine sulfur cycle. 

Closing date for applications is 23:59 on 11th January 2023 

More information and apply >> 


SuMMeR (Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Management of UK Marine Resources) Projects:


Project Description: The U.N. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets on Health (Goal 3), Water quality (Goal 6), and Life under water (Goal 14) are all relevant to the study of waterborne pathogens such as Vibrios and E. coli. Understanding the factors that determine the distribution, survival and growth of these pathogens is particularly important for SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), which has the aim to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”. 

In this PhD, you will undertake pioneering transdisciplinary research to explore waterborne pathogens in coastal waters, specifically in relation to the presence of seaweeds and seagrasses. You will use field and lab experiments to investigate the mechanisms driving positive or negative associations between pathogenic microbes and seaweeds and seagrasses and explore nature-based solutions to mitigate the problem of poor water quality. You will use-satellite-based tools to map pathogen risk in the presence and absence of seaweed and seagrass habitats. 

Closing date for applications is 16:00 on 17th January 2023 

More information and apply >> 


Project Description: This is an exciting opportunity to take part in a transdisciplinary PhD which will provide the post-holder with a wide range of skills to enable them to become an innovative, solution-driven researcher or practitioner, working at the science-policy interface. The project will cross the boundaries of natural, social and economic science to build on previous work and provide a holistic assessment of the provision of sandeel ecosystem services in Celtic Seas. 

Sandeels (Ammodytidae) are a key genus of forage fish within the Celtic Seas, and the UK as a whole. They provide a vital trophic link between zooplankton and higher predators including several commercial fish species, seabirds, seals, and cetaceans and provide multiple ecosystem service benefits. Understanding these will help communicate the benefits gained by the appropriate management and protection of their populations and habitat. As part of Defra’s Marine Natural Capital Ecosystem Assessment (mNCEA) programme, a natural capital account of the industrial sandeel fishery in the North Sea has been developed. This project used a natural capital extended balance sheet approach to capture changes in natural capital assets, ecosystem services and the value of the resulting benefits from different sandeel management scenarios. 

Closing date for applications is 16:00 on 17th January 2023 

More information and apply >> 


CDT SuMMeR also has more PhD studentship opportunities that Plymouth Marine Laboratory’s scientists are involved in as secondary supervisors, we would recommend viewing all of their opportunities on their website here. 


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