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Uptake, bioconcentration and biomagnification of mercury into phyto- and zooplankton.

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Saturday, February 29, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Seafood and especially marine fish are the primariy source of toxic monomethyl-Hg (MMHg) in Europeans. However, the processes responsible for MMHg production within marine ecosystems remain poorly quantified an understood. Possible pathways include abiotic, microbial, and/or planktonic MMHg production. This ESR will study the role of marine particles, both living and non-living for marine MMHg production. All planned experiments are designe to mimic natural conditions as closely as possible and will be realized in mesocosms located at the Atlantic and Mediterranean coast. Laboratory experiments may also be necessary.

Objectives and Methodologies

The ESR will examine Hg and MMHg sorption and uptake rates onto/into a selection of marine particle types, including non-living particulate organic matter, microbes, phyto- and zooplankton. This work will be realized with dedicated, controlled experiments, both in the laboratory and in mesocosms at coastal sites. This ESR will use state-of-the-art techniques, including analytical isotope tracing methods, to deconvolute Hg and MMHg dynamics. In parallel the ESR will work on data from French Atlantic coastal field sampling campaigns. The mesocosm and field studies will be conducted in collaboration with ESR4 and ESR7 to cover three contrasting environments and their land to sea continuums (Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean and Baltic seas).

Expected Results

Having generated original, new Hg speciation data and uptake rates between different marine particle size classes ranging from field-flow fractionated organic matter, bacteria- and phyto-, and zooplankton, the ESR will author 2 publications and contribute to a joint paper defined in D2.1.2.

Planned secondment(s)

With co-advisors: CNRS (D. Point), 2 months, isotope tracing analysis collaboration with ESR3 (joint paper); AMU (L. E. Heimbürger-Boavida), 1 month, to review, compare, and evaluate results obtained by ESR6 with data of ESR4; With partners : HZG (J. Bieser), 1 month, to test newly obtained data within model developed by ESR13.

Eligibility Criteria

GMOS-Train is looking for a broad international representation of early stage researchers. The network clearly acknowledges its responsibility for the recruitment of the researchers,
their working and living conditions, as stated in the document “The European Charter for Researchers - Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers”. Gender equality and
minority rights will also be promoted in the selection process. There is no age limit.


The positions are open to all nationalities. However, your application has to comply with the European Commission’s Mobility Rules, meaning that at the time of recruitment you must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the
country of the host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the reference date (indicative start of the employment contract, Month Date 2020).
Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account (European Commission’s Guide for Applicants).

Early-stage Researcher (ESR)

In case you have already gained prior work experience in academia, you shall be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of your research career at the
time of recruitment by the host organisation and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when you
obtained the degree entitling you to embark on a doctorate, even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged. Part-time research experience will be counted pro-rata (European
Commission’s Guide for Applicants).

Relevant University Degree

Master’s degree or equivalent in Environmental and Health Science or related fields.

Selection Process

In case an individual researcher is interested in several advertised ESR projects, he/she may apply for a maximum of three specific ESR projects and list their order
of preference.

The selection committee will check applications against the following criteria:

- Scientific background and potential as indicated by candidate experience.
- Fit to a research project.
- Evidence of ability to undertake research.
- Evidence of working within groups or teams.
- Impact and benefit of the proposed training to the candidate’s research career.

Three candidates will be short-listed for each research project and invited to an interview (interviews by video link will be held if candidates are not able to travel).

Interviews will consist of two parts:
1) a short presentation by the candidate followed by questions and answers, and
2) competence-based interview.

How to apply

Please find details about the ESR project descriptions, application process and modalities at http://www.gmos-train.eu.

All applications must be submitted by means of on-line application on the official GMOS-Train project website: https://www.gmos-train.eu/esr/projects/esr-application-form/

Deadline for application is February 29th 2020.

Funding Notes

Prestigious EU fellowship.

Highly competitive and attractive salary and working conditions.

Excellent training programme covering health and environment science and state-of-the-art technologies.

Related Subjects

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