Do you have an MSc in Marine Biology, Ecology or Environmental Science, and are you interested in how reef-building corals are impacted by multiple climate change stressors? Are you excited to elucidate the mechanisms that enable corals to cope with environmental extremes, and do you enjoy both field and laboratory work? We are looking for a PhD student who will conduct research on corals living in extreme/marginal reef environments to better understand how environmental variability alters coral stress tolerance to future ocean conditions.
What are you going to do
You will investigate how fluctuating environmental conditions alter coral resistance to heat, acidification and low-oxygen stress. This will include fieldwork in extreme/marginal coral reef environments in the Caribbean where corals are naturally exposed to extreme and variable conditions. The aim is to investigate whether such an environmental history is linked to enhanced stress tolerance. You will further conduct controlled aquarium experiments to simulate different variability regimes in combination with future ocean conditions, analyze seawater physico-chemical conditions and conduct physiological analyses. Finally, you will use statistical analysis to interpret the data, communicate your results via conference presentations and publications in peer-reviewed journals, and write a high-quality PhD thesis, while closely working with the project team.
You are expected to:
spend significant time in the field (Caribbean);
meet regularly with the project team and collaborators to present work in progress and discuss findings;
assist with the supervision of BSc and Msc students, if and when requested;
assist teaching coral reef courses, if and when required;
Show good time management, balancing competing demands and multiple deadlines;
Be aware of and proactive about the risks associated with working in a marine environment, in tropical locations and in a laboratory, and comply with health and safety regulations.
Skills & Experience
What do we require
- MSc in marine biology, ecology or environmental science, or a related discipline.
- An interest in, and understanding of, how marine organisms adjust their physiology to environmental stress, especially in the context of climate change.
- Experience with marine fieldwork in tropical locations and willingness to spend extended time periods in the field (Caribbean).
- SCUBA diving certificate and scientific diving experience.
- Experience with coral husbandry and setting up and running aquarium experiments.
- Experience with laboratory work, preferably related to coral eco-physiology and seawater chemistry (e.g. nutrients, carbonate chemistry).
- Good analytical and statistical skills, including the use of programming languages such as R.
- Excellent English skills and demonstrated skills in scientific writing (either excellent Master-thesis (in English) or published paper in peer-reviewed scientific journal).
- An ability to work both independently and as part of a team.