Project Description: Artificial Light at Night has demonstrated impacts on biological processes in the sea. Of particular concern in marine ecosystems is the growing use of modern energy efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps, since they emit more light at wavelengths of the visible spectrum that penetrate deeper into the water column and to which marine organisms are most sensitive. The high energy efficiency of LEDs however, makes them very popular with local authorities for lighting up our streets. Opportunities exist to reduce the ecological harm caused by street lighting using a variety of alternative lighting strategies. This project will provide critical information for reducing natural capital losses caused by existing street lighting infrastructure as it is replaced over the next ten years. The student will undertake an interdisciplinary, holistic studentship involving natural and social sciences in collaboration with Plymouth City Council. The student will develop and deploy skills in social science, community ecology and hydrological modelling to quantify the social and ecological trade-offs of coastal city lighting.
Aims and Objectives: The aim of the project is to quantify the social and ecological trade-offs of alternative street lighting strategies. The student will:-
Objective 1: Review our current understanding of mitigating the ecological impacts of ALAN.
Objective 2: Refine the project, its design and implementation with Plymouth City Council.
Objective 3: Model how alternative lighting strategies change natural light regimes in the sea.
Objective 4: Model and quantify how alternative lighting strategies change marine visual ecology.
Objective 5: Quantify public perceptions of alternative lighting strategies.
Objective 6: Complete the write up of their final PhD thesis.
Training: The student will have access to the ALICE (Artificial Light Impacts on Coastal Ecosystems) project laboratories and equipment for conducting physical measurements of light and ecological experiments. They will be trained in the collection and interpretation of radiometric light data. The student will have access to the Jisc online survey platform for designing and implementing social science surveys. They will receive guidance in social science techniques, hydrological optics, visual models and ecological experiments. They will become proficient in data handling and analysis in R. The student will be invited to take part in relevant meetings and research of the AquaPLAN and FOCUS projects, to provide learning and networking opportunities.
Project Structure: The project will be mostly desk based with approximately 6 months of field and laboratory work. The student will be expected to develop and maintain positive stakeholder relationships.
Eligibility Applicants should have a first or upper second-class honours degree in an appropriate subject and either a relevant masters qualification or a wider range of experience in a relevant career path (which is equally as important).
Each applicant may apply for a studentship on up to three CDT SuMMeR projects. Where more than one project is applied for, the supervisors of all those projects will be made aware that other applications have been made.
The studentship is supported for 3 years and 8 months. All UKRI-funded PhD students (UK, EU, International) will be eligible for the full award – both the stipend to support living costs (£18,622 per academic year at full time equivalent at the 2023/24 rate), and fees at the research organisation’s UK rate. International students are eligible for UKRI-funded postgraduate studentships but UKRI will limit the proportion of international students appointed each year through individual doctoral training programmes to 30% of the intake per cohort. CDT SuMMeR’s funding will not cover international fees set by universities; applicants normally required to pay international fees may have to cover the difference between the home and the international tuition fee rates (approximately £12,697 per annum). Please enquire with the lead supervisor on the situation regarding international fees for the project you are interested in. CDT SuMMeR’s funding will not cover costs associated with visa application or health surcharges, or additional costs associated with entry to, and living in, the UK. For EU and international eligibility for UKRI studentships, see UKRI’s guidance.
In case of uncertainty, applicants should contact the planned university of registration for eligibility advice, or the CDT SuMMeR Programme Office: [Email Address Removed]