Institution:Aberdeen University Dept/School/Faculty:Graduate School, College of Physical Sciences PhD Supervisor:Prof U F M Witte Co-Supervisor:Prof F Kuepper Application Deadline:26 June 2012 Funding Availability:Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only) add email telephone apply online PhD Research Project.
Marine sediments form a major reservoir in the global carbon (C) cycle and C cycling or burial in these sediments constitutes an important ecosystem service that sequesters C on geological time scales. Climate change is ongoing, and amongst the most striking evidence of climate change is the rapid reduction of Arctic Sea Ice. In coastal Arctic marine ecosystems, change is compounded by melting glaciers via increasing freshwater influx, turbidity and iceberg scouring, with profound consequences for primary production (PP). Due to close benthic-pelagic coupling in arctic marine ecosystems, changes in PP are likely to cascade quickly to benthic food webs, and key ecosystem functions such as carbon and nitrogen cycling or storage.
This studentship will investigate the impact of changes in the community composition, ecology and contributions to benthic carbon transfer of arctic primary producers on benthic food webs and ecosystem functions, and the resilience of the latter to rapid change. To this end, we will conduct two field campaigns in the High Arctic, one during late spring (sea ice present) and one in late summer (open water season). On each occasion, the relative significance of algal communities as food source for the benthos will be assessed. The relative contribution of different algae to benthic carbon sequestration and turnover will be studied via analysis of biomarkers, compound specific isotope analysis, and isotope labelling experiments
Formal applications can be completed online: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply. You should apply for a relevant Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Geosciences to ensure that your application is passed to the correct College for processing. Please note you should apply at least 4 days before the deadline to allow us to contact you for further information, if required. You should state the title of the studentship and the names of the supervisors. All applications received up to, and including the closing date, will be processed. Informal academic enquiries should be directed to Professor Ursula Witte (firstname.lastname@example.org) along with a copy of your current CV and a covering letter detailing your suitability for the project. All general enquiries for the College of Physical Sciences should be directed to the Graduate School Admissions Unit (email@example.com).
Fees, Stipend (£12000 pa), research funding. Honours Degree in a related subject area with a minimum requirement of a 2i Honours Degree.
Studentship includes fees at the Home/EU rate plus a stipend of £12,000 per year. We will consider applications from international applicants providing they are aware that they have to pay the difference between the UK/Home Tuition
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