PhD project: predicting recruitment variability in toothfish around South Georgia at University of Aberdeen

The Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) is a large predatory demersal fish endemic to the Southern hemisphere. It supports a valuable commercial fishery centred in South Georgia. Relatively little is known about what makes ideal breeding conditions although there are indications that environmental factors play a key role. An improved understanding of the mechanisms driving recruitment variability is needed to forecast years of good or poor recruitment. The aim of this studentship is to generate knowledge essential to understanding variability in the recruitment of toothfish in South Georgia and use this to develop a predictive model. Time series describing sea surface temperature, abundance and physiological condition of spawners are among the datasets available.

Specific objectives include:
1.Examination of inter- and intra-annual spawning dynamics in the fishery over time in relation to bathymetric current and environmental data factors
2. Establishing a robust index of skipped spawning in toothfish around South Georgia
3. Examine determinate of inter-annual body condition and implications to spawning success
4.Using particle tracking models to examine inter-annual recruitment distribution around South Georgia and Shag Rocks
5.Integrate knowledge to predict recruitment in the South Georgia fishery
This studentship is a collaboration between the University of Aberdeen, the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI), the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), Georgia Seafoods Ltd. and the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI). The project allows for development of a wide range of transferable skills relevant to fish biology and fisheries management. Applicants should highlight skills relevant to fish biology, fisheries science and quantitative analysis of environmental and ecological data.

deadline for application: 6th September 2013

for more information:

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