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The Stoichiometry of Resource Supply and Demand in the Tropical Atlantic Ocean

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Tagliabue
    Dr Mahaffey
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This is an extract of the research project. Simply click on “Apply on-line” above for an instant access to the complete version.

This project will involve quantitatively comparing the stoichiometry of resource (N, P, Fe, Zn) supply and demand in the different environments of the tropical Atlantic Ocean by participating in a funded research cruise to the tropical Atlantic Ocean. Comparing the stoichiometry of the supply of resources from physical mechanisms and atmospheric deposition to the cellular demands of key phytoplankton species in the tropical Atlantic including Synechococcus and Trichodesmium will permit a better understanding of how resource demands of phytoplankton are met in the ocean. In addition, the project will use novel measurements of enzyme activity, cell quotas and proteomics to examine how resources are allocated to distinct metabolic processes within the phytoplankton cell. Ultimately, the insights gained can then be used to evaluate or develop how these processes are implemented in the biogeochemical models necessary for evaluating their wider impact. There is sufficient flexibility in the studentship for the precise aims and objectives to be modified in response the particular interests of the successful candidate.

The student will be part of a NERC funded project, ZIPLOc (Zinc, iron and phosphorus co-Limitation in the Ocean) and should be prepared to participate in a research cruise to the tropical Atlantic Ocean. The supervisory team are experts in ocean biogeochemistry and in particular how phytoplankton are affected by different nutrients and trace metals in the ocean. The student will benefit from training in novel analytical and bioassay techniques and interaction with US scientists who are leaders in the field of single cell elemental analysis and proteomics.

Funding Notes

Competitive tuition fee, research costs and stipend (£14,056 tax free) from the NERC Doctoral Training Partnership “Understanding the Earth, Atmosphere and Ocean” (DTP website: http://www.liv.ac.uk/studentships-earth-atmosphere-ocean/) led by the University of Liverpool, the National Oceanographic Centre and the University of Manchester. The studentship is granted for a period of 42 months. Further details on eligibility, how to apply, deadlines for applications and interview dates can be found on the website. EU students are eligible for a fee-only award.

References

Cabré, A., I. Marinov, and S. Leung (2014), Consistent global responses of marine ecosystems to future climate change across the IPCC AR5 earth system models, Climate Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-014-2374-3.

Emerson, S., P. Quay, D. Karl, C. Winn, L. Tupas, and M. Landry (1997), Nature, 389(6654), 951-954, doi:10.1038/40111.

Mahaffey, C., S. Reynolds, C. E. Davis, and M. C. Lohan (2014), Alkaline phosphatase activity in the subtropical ocean: insights from nutrient, dust and trace metal addition experiments, Frontiers in Marine Science, 1, doi:10.3389/fmars.2014.00073.

Moore, C. M., et al. (2013), Processes and patterns of oceanic nutrient limitation, Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/ngeo1765.

Sarmiento, J. L., et al. (2004), Response of ocean ecosystems to climate warming, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 18(3), doi:10.1029/2003gb002134.

Twining, B. S., and S. B. Baines (2013), The trace metal composition of marine phytoplankton, Annual review of marine science, 5, 191-215, doi:10.1146/annurev-marine-121211-172322.

Twining, B. S., D. Nunez-Milland, S. Vogt, R. S. Johnson, and P. N. Sedwick (2010), Variations in Synechococcus cell quotas of phosphorus, sulfur, manganese, iron, nickel, and zinc within mesoscale eddies in the Sargasso Sea, Limnology and Oceanography, 55(2), 492-506.

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