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  The effects of Marine Protected Areas on animal populations, biodiversity and fisheries

   College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences

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  Dr D Bailey  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

This project is funded by a grant from the EU through Interreg 4a and will begin by the 1st July 2012
Supervisors: University of Glasgow: David Bailey; Marine Scotland Science: Peter Wright.

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are widely promoted as a means of protecting biodiversity, achieving more natural population structures and for the management of exploited populations. In order for MPAs to benefit fisheries they must export larvae or juveniles from the exploited populations, or adult animals must leave the MPA and be caught in the surrounding fishing grounds. This concept of “spillover” is particularly controversial and the evidence for it is not yet complete.
The UK is currently embarking on a major programme of MPA designation, and in Scotland this work is led by Marine Scotland. At the same time the seas around the UK and Ireland are increasingly being developed for renewable energy. These areas may restrict the types of fishing allowed and as a result could act in similar ways to MPAs. A specific concern for the managers of migratory fisheries (e.g. Atlantic salmon) is that MPAs and renewable energy infrastructure could increase the abundance of predators and that this might create an additional hazard to migrating fish.
The chosen student will work on MPA projects and renewable energy sites on the west coast of Scotland, Northern Ireland and its borders with Ireland. The student will carry out surveys of sites before and after changes to fishing regulations, focussing on changes to habitats critical to exploited species. Depending on the student and the direction the project takes, they might study the connectivity between closed and open areas using biochemical and genetic markers, or use mathematical modelling. Other likely topics would include surveys of areas with different types and durations of management (No Take Zones or areas where mobile gear is restricted) in order to investigate any longer-term changes.
As well as the proposed supervisors the student will be engaged with the MASTS community and the other partners in the Interreg project (Loughs Agency; Queen’s University, Belfast)

Funding Notes

The annual stipend for this project will be £13,560 (+ full fees) for 3 years.

Applicants should have received a grade of 2:1 (B) or equivalent in their undergraduate degree in a relevant biological or environmental topic. The studentship is open to UK and EU students. Diving qualifications to PADI DM, HSE SCUBA or BSAC Adv Diver would be an advantage, as would a driving licence. For more details on eligibility and for applicants see below:

'A project supported but the European Union's INTERREG IVA Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body'


How to apply - Cover letter indicating motives and qualifications for undertaking this PhD plus full CV and contact details of 2 referees. Initial enquiries to, applications to

Interviews on the 16th April 2012