Applications for this PhD have now closed.
Location University of Tasmania, Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies
App. deadline 28/02/2017
  • Scholarship available
Eligibility Open to international applicants

The oceanís biological pump (Mesozooplankton controls on particle export)

Supervision Team

Prof Phil Boyd
Dr Kerrie Swadling

This position will be part of the interdisciplinary team investigating and ARC-funded project “Geoengineering the Southern Ocean? A Transdisciplinary assessment”. The role will focus on the holistic evaluation of what drives the efficiency of the ocean’s biological pump. This will include desktop studies, laboratory and field based research, along with mathematical modelling simulations.

The ocean’s biological pump is a key conduit for the transfer of biogenic carbon into the oceans interior and for the replenishment of nutrients via remineralisation in the deep ocean. In the geological past, changes in the efficiency of the pump have been invoked as a candidate mechanism to account for about 1/3 of the observed 80 ppmv reduction in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Consequently, geoengineering of the biological pumps has been proposed as a potential mitigation strategy to alleviate increasing anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

Mesozooplankton and particle-attached microbes play key roles in the biological pump via particle transformations (solubilisation, grazing), building blocks for heterogeneous particles (faecal pellet carbon and other elements), and hence have a strong influence on the magnitude and efficiency of carbon export. This post-graduate research fellowship will explore how different mesozooplankton taxa contribute to particle transformations which in turn help to set the magnitude of the downward export flux, and hence how they help to modify the efficiency of the pump.

Essential Requirements

  1. A BSc (Hons) or Masters or equivalent in a relevant field.
  2. Experience in invertebrate physiology.
  3. Keen to work at sea and in the laboratory.
  4. Interested in being part of a research team.
  5. Well-developed written and oral communication skills.

Desirable Attributes

We are looking for a candidate to focus on a project that centres on the following topics:

  1. Environmental controls/forcing of mesozooplankton with different feeding strategies (respiration, clearance rate, growth vs temperature etc.) – on local and subantarctic species.
  2. Influence of prey concentration and quality feeding strategies on local and subantarctic species.
  3. Linking the time-series distributions of subantarctic mesozooplankton at Southern Ocean Time-Series (SOTS) site to environmental conditions at the SOTS site.

Please Note: Should this listing mention details of an available scholarship, it is your responsibility to confirm the specifics with the university / institute prior to applyiing. Terms and conditions are in some cases subject to change and are not always reflected immediately within listings.

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Further Information / Application Enquiries

Prof Philip Boyd

Dr Kerrie Swadling