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PhD Research Project

Responses of freshwater invertebrates to impacts of stressors including pesticides, drugs and metals.

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Institution Location

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University of Reading
School of Biological Sciences
Dr A Callaghan
Applications accepted all year round
Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Freshwater invertebrates are used as models to measure the impact of pollution. Toxicity tests are conducted under set, ideal conditions and do not necessarily reflect interactions in the environment. Previous work has shown that both chemical mixtures and water chemistry can have profound impacts on the toxicity of chemicals. This can be studied at multiple levels, looking at life history, toxicity, biochemistry and gene expression.
The supervisor has published extensively on insecticide resistance mechanisms, biochemical and molecular biomarkers of pollution and ecotoxicology of freshwater invertebrates. Reading can offer facilities for molecular, biochemical and toxicological work and has appropriate controlled temperature rooms and fieldwork facilities. The supervisor has experience working with Daphnia, mosquitoes, chironomids, beetles, moths and aphids. She currently supervises PhD students working on urban mosquito ecology, urban ponds and Daphnia ecotoxicology. For a full list of her publications, please go to her website.

The applicant should have a university degree in zoology, biology, biochemistry, toxicology or a related field.

Funding Notes:

We have a thriving community of UK and International PhD students and encourage applications at any time from students of any nationality either able to fund their own studies or who wish to apply for their own funding.

Please note that there are no studentships being offered for this research area by the University of Reading.


Some recent papers:
Gbaye, O., Holloway, G.J. and Callaghan, A. (2012) Variation in the sensitivity of Callosobruchus (Coleoptera: Bruchidae) acetylcholinesterase to the organophosphate insecticide malaoxon: effect of species, geographical strain and food type. Pest Management Science, 68 (9). pp. 1265-1271.
Pereira, JL, Hill, CJ, Sibly, RM, Bolshakov, VN, Gonçalves, F, Heckmann LH and Callaghan, A. (2010). Gene transcription in Daphnia magna: effects of acute exposure to a carbamate insecticide and an acetanilide herbicide. Aquatic Toxicology, 97, 268-276.
Heckmann, L.H., Timmermans, M.J.T.N., Sibly, R.M. and Callaghan, A. (2008) Outlining eicosanoid biosynthesis in the model crustacean Daphnia. Frontiers in Zoology, 5, 11. doi:10.1186/1742-9994-5-11
Biehl Printes, L., Fellowes, M.D.E. and Callaghan, A. (2008). Clonal variation in acetylcholinesterase biomarkers and life history traits following OP exposure in Daphnia magna . Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 71, 519-526.

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