The School of Biological Sciences of the University of Portsmouth, UK, is offering a PhD opportunity in marine resource management.
Harvesting the sea shore is an integral part of coastal life, but at local, national and global scales these inter-tidal fisheries are highly valuable, extract significant biomass and have considerable impacts. They, therefore, urgently require governance equivalent to other offshore fisheries. However, critical gaps in our understanding of these data-limited activities remain that currently prevent the implementation of evidence-based fisheries and resource management for coastal regions especially within Marine Protected Areas.
The Solent and Poole European Marine Sites (Marine Protected Areas) on the south coast of the UK provide a unique opportunity to assess the extent and impacts of these fisheries as they support high levels of bait, clam, cockle and oyster collection operating at different spatial scales and utilising different methods. The project is designed to assess the extent of these fisheries and evaluate the impact of these collection methods on habitats, target and non-target species and the function that these deliver (i.e. ecosystem services). The project will provide evidence to support effective management strategies that will meet future UK and European conservation, economic and social priorities.
Key questions to be addressed:
- What is the historical and current extent of inter-tidal fisheries within the MPAs?
- What impact do inter-tidal fisheries have on the bioavailability of sediment-bound pollutants?
- How is ecosystem function affected by inter-tidal fisheries?
- What are the population-level impacts of inter-tidal fisheries on wading birds?
The student will have opportunities to acquire a diverse set of skills including macrofaunal sampling and identification, trace metal and sediment analysis, GIS mapping, aerial photography, assessments of functional traits and hydrodynamic modelling. The student will also work closely with the relevant agencies including the Solent Forum, Natural England and The Southern Inshore Fisheries Conservation Agency and be part of the vibrant Ecotoxicology and Environmental Monitoring Group within the University. In addition, s(he) will have access to the Graduate School Development Programme and Department Postgraduate Researcher Training. Expected career opportunities would be academic research as well as conservation and fisheries resource management for government agencies, NGOs and environmental consultancies in the UK and beyond.
Successful applicants will be awarded a University Bursary Stipend of £14,057 p.a (for 16/17) for up to 4 years. Full Home / EU fees will be paid by the University. Holders of University Bursaries are expected to contribute up to 6 hours a week to support their department.
- The Bursaries are offered for full-time, Home or EU candidates only.
- A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered.
- For those students without English as a first language or without a first degree from an English speaking University, an English Language Proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0 is required.
The closing date for applications to the 2016 bursaries is: 5pm Sunday 3 April 2016. Interviews for short listed candidates are expected to take place between 18 April and 29 April 2016.
Please see also: http://www.port.ac.uk/media/phd-bursaries-16/biology/BIOL2221016-Harvesting-the-seashore–the-impacts-and-management-of-inter-tidal-fisheries.pdf