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  Aquaculture methods for the seaweed Lessonia variegata for New Zealand open ocean conditions

   Environmental Research Institute, Faculty of Science and Engineering

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  Dr Marie Magnusson, Dr Chris Glasson, Dr Rebecca Lawton, Dr Kevin Heasman  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Cawthron Institute and the University of Waikato collaborate in the research program Ngā Punga o te Moana (‘anchors of the sea’). The program addresses exposed-ocean technological barriers to enable expansion of shellfish aquaculture and assist in creating a new seaweed open ocean aquaculture industry for Aotearoa New Zealand. This program will help close the major knowledge and technology gaps that constrain scale-up transition into the new open ocean frontier. Seaweed productivity and biochemistry changes according to where you grow it, and how you go about growing it in terms of the structures and energy they are subjected to. Therefore, we need to understand how a selected seaweed species responds to our novel designs and exposed oceanic conditions. As part of this programme of research we have funding for one PhD student based at University of Waikato’s Coastal Marine Field Station in Tauranga, New Zealand.

This multidisciplinary PhD project will determine the effects of growth conditions on natural and farmed stock of the kelp Lessonia variegata and consists of a blend of field and laboratory work. The project includes broad sampling of seaweed in the field, aquaculture methods for early life history stages in the hatchery, and field and laboratory work to quantify effects of growth conditions (novel open-ocean structures) on the productivity and biochemistry of the seaweed, with a focus on polysaccharides and bioactives.

While based at UoW in Tauranga, the project includes frequent travel to Nelson and surrounds for on-water work with Cawthron and collaborating aquaculture farmers. 

Applicants will be independent and highly motivated with:

·        An Honours or MSc degree in a relevant subject (biology, biochemistry, chemistry)

·        Experience with relevant laboratory and/or field experiments

·        Sound skills in analysing data

·        Excellent communication skills in English (spoken and written)

Annual stipend for 3 years:                        $32,000 (plus annual fees)

Closing date 31st Jan 2023. The position will start between February and May 2023.


Applicants, please send a letter of motivation and CV (including contact information for 2 referees) to the relevant contact(s) above. Your letter of motivation should describe why you are interested in the specific project. 

Biological Sciences (4) Chemistry (6)
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