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QUADRAT DTP: Ecology of dynamic seasonal salt lakes and their responses to hydrological changes


, Monday, January 18, 2021 Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Seasonal salt lakes are relatively common in the eastern Mediterranean and they present extreme environments, which fluctuate seasonally between wet and dry phases and are often characterised by relatively simple aquatic food webs, but at the same time very high biodiversity and productivity when associated bird diversity is taken into account. The algal component of the biodiversity, although extremely important within food webs, is virtually unknown for these ecosystems. It is expected that in such environments, seasonal hydrological fluctuations will be key in determining structure of biological communities and ecological responses. Therefore, these seasonal wetlands can potentially be used as reference systems in studying ecosystem resilience in response to climate and environmental change. The PhD researcher will be based on the island of Cyprus for extensive periods of time and sample the aquatic communities regularly throughout the wet phase, from autumn to spring, when the wetlands dry up. Hydrological monitoring will also take place throughout this period to describe hydrological patterns and assess ecological responses to hydrological changes. Overall, the study will focus on both communities as well as individual species and aims to identify the intrinsic and extrinsic processes (with a focus on climate change), that shape their demography and dynamics. Specifically, this study will attempt to:

a) characterise current aquatic communities and investigate how these change seasonally
b) describe and understand the hydrological patterns of these saline lakes
c) determine the responses of these communities to seasonal hydrological changes

More project details are available here: https://www.quadrat.ac.uk/projects/ecology-of-dynamic-seasonal-salt-lakes-and-their-responses-to-hydrological-changes/

How to apply: https://www.quadrat.ac.uk/how-to-apply/

Funding Notes

QUADRAT studentships are open to UK and international candidates (EU and non-EU). Funding will cover UK tuition fees/stipend/research & training support grant only.

Before applying please check full funding and eligibility information: View Website


Badosa, A., et al. 2006. Nutrients and zooplankton composition and dynamics in relation to the hydrological pattern in a confined Mediterranean salt marsh (NE Iberian Peninsula). Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 66(3-4), 513-522.

Christia, et.al., 2011. A survey of the benthic aquatic flora in transitional water systems of Greece and Cyprus (Mediterranean Sea). Bot. Mar. 54, 169–178.

Karagianni, A., et.al 2018. Zooplankton communities in Mediterranean temporary lakes: the case of saline lakes in Cyprus. IJL p. 14.

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