PhD: Metagenetic approaches to studying marine food webs

PhD Project at the University of East Anglia, England, about “Metagenetic approaches to studying marine food webs. Support for ecosystem based fisheries management.”

Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management (EBFM) focuses on developing and applying new approaches to fisheries management that minimize the effects of fishing on the ecosystem. One component of the EBFM is a sound knowledge of food webs and predation in marine habitats. However, the visual identification of prey items in fish stomachs is complex and time consuming, and often omits soft bodied, hard to identify species and partially digested specimens. Molecular approaches capable of identifying prey DNA, even after partial digestion, are typically limited to one or several targeted prey items. Advances in sequencing technology now allow potential detection all prey items within a stomach using ‘metabarcoding’ approaches. The DNA from mixed organisms can be amplified and sequenced simultaneously using ‘universal’ primers that amplify either all, or a subset of target organisms allowing identification of the full range of prey in predators stomachs.

In collaboration with the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) This studentship will develop a suite of methods for studying marine fish diets using next generation sequencing approaches with the aim of improving the understanding of sustainability of marine fisheries. Training will be provided in state of the art molecular techniques and bioinformatics at UEA, and in addition, the student will have extensive opportunities for interactions, networking and training within the Cefas environment.

Entry Requirements:
The ideal candidate will have a good Honours or Masters degree in a relevant subject area (e.g. Biological Sciences) and have a strong interest in fisheries biology. Some experience with molecular laboratory techniques such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and strong IT skills are desirable although training will be provided.

Application deadline: 6th January 2014

Please see also: lifecycle%3D0%26p_p_state%3Dnormal%26p_p_mode%3Dview%26p_p_col_id%3Dcolumn-2%26p_p_col_pos%3D2%26p_p_col_count%3D3

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