Investigation of the utility of a commercial scale Integrated Multi-trophicAquaculture (IMTA) system with salmon, shellfish and seaweed
There is a clear need to address environmental issues linked to coastal finfish aquaculture. Consensus amongst academics & regulators suggests that IMTA has the potential to improve profitability & reduce environmental impact of finfish aquaculture. Interest in development of IMTA systems within the EU is therefore considerable. However, few systems in Europe have been scaled up to full commercial scale for all species involved. This is important because much of the science & understanding of interactions changes with scale. This project represents the first example in the UK for the development of a full commercial scale coastal IMTA system. This provides an opportunity to further develop the wide research base for IMTA under full commercial conditions. Adoption of IMTA has implications for marine planning and governance. Site suitability for the co-species’ environmental needs & consequent regulation of impacts are different to single species aquaculture systems, & require different guidelines & licensing procedures. Outputs from this PhD project will therefore inform development of policy on future applications of IMTA systems in Scotland.
This project offers the opportunity to systematically investigate key factors affected by the scaling up of IMTA systems, including:
•Mechanisms of nutrient transfer & uptake between the systems,
•Growth of the extractive species,
•Implications of discharge of chemical treatments from the salmon farms
•Physical effects of the positioning of the different systems & their interactions
•Effects of these integrated systems on the wider environment,
•How these systems affect other users of coastal resources.
•Consequences for site selection, regulation and licensing
Academic and soft skills
The successful candidate will hold an MSc or first class honours degree in relevant disciplines (E.g. Aquaculture; Marine Biology; Environmental Sciences; Quantitative Ecology) and possess background knowledge or previous experience in Ecosystem Modelling, Biochemistry and aquatic animals Biology. The candidate will possess a driving licence valid in the UK. Furthermore, the candidate will be able to operate in a multidisciplinary context, have an inquisitive mind and be an excellent problem solver. The technical skills developed during this project will include: Hydrographic measurement and 3D water flow modelling (FVCOM, MIKE3D); Water quality assessment (soluble and particulate Nitrogen and Phosphorus, chlorophyll, particulate carbon); Contaminant concentration; Measurement of health of the extractive species within the system; Dynamic Energy Budget Modelling; Use of stable isotopes and lipid biomarkers; Environmental Impact Assessment; Use of bio-economic models for estimation of the economic efficiency; Modelling of Site suitability for IMTA systems within a Geographical Information System platform.
SUPER DTP PhD studentships are open to applicants with Home (UK) or EU status, who meet the eligibility and residency requirements as outlined in UKRI’s Terms and Conditions of Research Council Training Grants.
To be eligible for a full award, i.e. maintenance award (stipend) and tuition fees, UK applicants must satisfy all the following conditions:
•Have settled status in the UK, meaning they have no restrictions on how long they can stay;
•Been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for three years prior to the start of the studentship – this means they must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences)’
•Has not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. (This does not apply to UK or EU nationals who were ordinarily resident in the EU immediately before the period of full-time education).
To be eligible for a tuition fees only award, i.e. no maintenance award payable, applicants from EU countries other than the UK must satisfy the following condition: Be ordinarily resident in a member state of the EU, in the same way as UK students must be ordinarily resident in the UK.
Applicants should normally have, or be studying for:
•A postgraduate Master’s degree or a first class honours degree from a degree-awarding body recognised by the UK government, or equivalent
•Other qualifications or experience that affords sufficient evidence of an applicant’s ability to work at the academic level associated with doctoral study.
•Please note that if successful you may be required to produce evidence of your qualifications at registration.
•Applicants must not be holding another full Scholarship for the 2019/20 academic session.
Funded by NERC Studentships awarded to the SUPER Doctoral Training Partnership https://superdtp.st-andrews.ac.uk
To apply, send a covering letter and up-to-date CV to [Email Address Removed]. Deadline for application is 16th of March 2020. Candidates will then be selected and interviewed within two weeks of the deadline. The PhD will start the 1st of April 2020 or at the earliest opportunity thereafter.
If you have an academic query, please contact the Lead Supervisor: Prof Trevor Telfer ([Email Address Removed] ) or Dr Stefano Carboni ([Email Address Removed])