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Developing environmentally sensitive hydropower in the UK: investigating and mitigating impacts on freshwater fisheries

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  • Full or part time
    Dr P Kemp
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Investigating the impact of small-scale hydropower on fish using telemetry

A Natural and Environmental Research Council funded CASE PhD studentship is available to study the impact of small-scale hydropower on migratory fish. The studentship duration is 4 years with the first year dedicated to skills development as part of the EPSRC funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Infrastructure Systems. The period of research conducted between years 2-4 will be based partly with the case partner and at the University of Southampton.

The primary aim of the project is to quantify the influence of small-scale hydropower facilities on the movement and survival of freshwater fish of high economic and conservation concern. A secondary aim is to develop recommendations for potential mitigation options to protect fish at small-scale hydropower sites should negative effects be identified. Telemetry techniques will be used in the field to quantify the probability of passage through the turbines and associated injury rates and mortality of adult and juvenile life-stages using a combination of telemetry techniques. Second order effects, including delay and avoidance behaviour exhibited in response to acoustic and hydrodynamic conditions encountered at the hydropower facilities, will be assessed. Fine-scale controlled experiments will be conducted to further quantify fish response to acoustic and hydrodynamic conditions replicated.

Well-qualified candidates should have the following skills: A degree in biological/environmental sciences with an innate curiosity driven interest in research that crosses the disciplinary divide (e.g. is prepared to learn new subjects associated with acoustics and fluid dynamics); previous experience (e.g. A-level) in either physics or maths would be advantageous; the ability to work well with others; fluency in English and experience of technical writing in English; ability to handle multiple complex tasks simultaneously and stick to deadlines; ability to work in the field under harsh conditions and a drivers licence; be able to prepare high-quality scientific reports and presentations as required.

The successful candidate will join a team of researchers at the International Centre for Ecohydraulics Research (ICER: at the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment and will receive training and gain experience in a range of techniques associated with this research area.

Applications for this PhD research project are accepted on a rolling basis and we therefore advise you to apply early if you are interested. To make your application please go to:

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Paul Kemp, the International Centre for Ecohydraulics Research, Email: [email protected], Tel: +44 (0) 2380 595871.

How good is research at University of Southampton in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 192.23

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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