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Environmental Exposure to Cannabinoids, Metabolites and Transformation

Project Description

The pharmaceutical and recreational use of cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, cannabinoids, are increasing as prohibitionary legislation has evolved in many countries throughout the world. However, little is known about the exposure and impacts cannabinoids and their degradants have on freshwater ecosystems. We are looking for an enthusiastic individual to work on a 3.5 year funded PhD project that explores the fate, exposure, and toxicity of natural and synthetic cannabinoid compounds in the aquatic freshwater environment. The project will involve method development using state-of-the- art analytical equipment to measure cannabinoid compounds and their transformation products in environmental samples, laboratory and field testing to elicit the toxicity of these compounds to aquatic organisms, and modelling in order to provide risk assessment at various spatial and temporal scales. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to share these important results to researchers and regulators and at international conferences.

During this PhD, you will work with experts at the University of York and the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology to develop skills in: environmental analytical chemistry, aquatic toxicology, and risk assessment of chemicals in the environment. Throughout the course of the PhD programme, you will have the opportunity to live, train, and conduct experiments at both the University of York, and CEH’s Wallingford location as you see fit.

The successful candidate should hold at least an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Environmental Science, Chemistry, or Biology. Further information on the project can be obtained from Dr. Brett Sallach by email at Keywords for FindaPhD site Ecotoxicology and pollution, environmental chemistry, analytical chemistry, environmental science, toxicology.

Funding Notes

This is a NERC ACCE DTP studentship fully funded for 3.5 years in the first instance, and students must complete their PhD in four years. The studentship covers: (i) a tax-free annual stipend at the standard Research Council rate (£15,009 for 2019-2020), (ii) research costs, and (iii) tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. You can extend your funding period for up to 3 months by applying for an industrial placement.


ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Students with, or expecting to gain, at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply. The interdisciplinary nature of this programme means that we welcome applications from students with backgrounds in any relevant subject that provides the necessary skills, knowledge and experience for the DTP, including environmental, biological, chemical, mathematical, physical and social sciences.

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