EDIT: WELCOME TO CRAIG ROBERTSON! Who is the new PhD student in our group!

The functioning of canyons on the US East Coast.

3 year PhD studentship at the School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University with Dr Andrew J Davies.

Project description:

This is an exciting opportunity to join an international team of researchers investigating the functioning of deep-sea canyons on the US East Coast. This studentship is part of a larger project funded by BOEMRE (now the Bureau of Energy Management), incorporating elements of archaeology, physics, geology and biology. The successful candidate will be based in Menai Bridge, but will be expected to conduct fieldwork on NOAA vessels off the coast of the USA in collaboration with Dr Steve Ross of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Dr Sandra Brooke of the Marine Conservation Institute. The candidate will also be expected to travel to the Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) on the Island of Texel to conduct data analysis and project preparation with Drs Furu Mienis and Gerard Duineveld.

Overall, the study will conduct a full ecosystem evaluation of deep-water hard bottom, coral and soft substrata communities, and shipwreck sites off Virginia and Maryland within and adjacent to submarine canyons. The project essentially has three main components, 1) initially the student will be expected to develop habitat suitability models of the canyons based on archived and current data, but will develop these further as we collate more information of the canyons. 2) Investigate the physical setting and transport of sediment and organic material through the canyons using deep-sea lander technology developed by the NIOZ. 3) Devise observations and experiments to determine distributional drivers of sessile fauna within the physical context of the canyon.

The successful candidate:

This is a 3 year funded position, the successful candidate will be expected to hold an upper second class honours degree and a master’s degree in relevant science, preferentially with training in marine ecology. The project is available as soon as possible, so preference will be given to candidates who can start in January or February 2012. The successful candidate will be expected to travel to the US to conduct research, and as such must hold a valid passport and a full clean driving license. To apply please send a CV and a comprehensive covering letter, outlining your plans and your reasons for wanting to complete this project. The application deadline is the 13th January 2012.

Informal enquiries and submission of an application should be made to:

Dr Andrew Davies at andrew.j.davies @ bangor.ac.uk.