PhD fellowship in Marine Ecosystem Modelling

We are seeking a talented individual for a funded PhD fellowship to be based in the Changing Ocean Research Unit (CORU), Institute for Oceans and Fisheries, The University of British Columbia (Vancouver Campus).

Predicting the response of complex marine ecosystems to longer-term climate change requires the development of robust models coupling environmental forcing and biological responses across trophic levels. Significant progress has been made in coupling output from ocean biogeochemical models with marine tropho-dynamics models predicting energy flow through the marine food web (Kearney et al. 2013). However, the degree to which more accurate estimates of primary and secondary production and better knowledge of their functional relationships with upper trophic levels could improve our understanding of fisheries productivity remains unknown. This PhD fellowship is part of a NSERC funded Strategic Grant project. The main objectives of the PhD project include (1) using tropho-dynamic model to examine the sensitivity of the Northeast Pacific ecosystems and fisheries to perturbation of primary and secondary production, (2) developing longer-term scenarios for fisheries management in the NE Pacific under global change.

The candidate should meet the requirement for PhD study of Department of Zoology, UBC (…/graduate-degree-programs/phd-zoology). The candidate should have a degree in either biology, oceanography, earth sciences, applied mathematics, engineering, or other equivalent disciplines. The candidate preferably had previous training in quantitative modeling and computer programming (C++, Fortran, MatLab and/or R). The successful candidate is expected to further develop a tropho-dynamic model for the Northeast Pacific (based on Kearney et al. 2013) and incorporate new field data and refined satellite algorithms on primary and secondary production collected from other components of the Strategic Grant project. The project will be supervised by Dr William Cheung (UBC) and Dr Robyn Forrest (Fisheries and Oceans Canada), and is expected to start no later than September 2016.

Interested candidate should send one-page project proposal, CV and university transcripts to by 31 Dec 2015.

Kearney, K.A., Stock, C., Sarmiento, J.L. (2013) Amplification and attenuation of increased primary production in a marine food web. Marine Ecology Progress Series 491:1-14.

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