This project provides an opportunity for a student to get an integrated understanding of the state, functioning and ecosystem-level impacts of benthic communities by combining laboratory work experience with numerical modelling approach. In particular, the student will:
- identify species, biomass and abundance of zoobenthos from WCO benthic survey samples
- use existing time-series to quantify the importance of a range of zoobenthic traits (feeding mode, habitat, physiological rates)
- set up a 1D benthic-pelagic model implementing several zoobenthic functional groups with distinct habitats and feeding modes
- investigate ecosystem sensitivity to shifts in zoobenthic community structure by performing series of modelling experiments
- present findings at a seminar and in a final report
During the course of the project, the student will have an opportunity to gain deeper knowledge of benthic ecosystems and wider experience of various research methods by participating in fieldwork, including boat and coastal sampling and exploring use of mesocosm facilities.
Preferred background of the student
A strong interest in multidisciplinary science combining practical and theoretical approaches, creative and proactive attitude to tasks and challenges are expected from the applicant. The student will have previous experience in data analysis and statistical methods. A good working knowledge of mathematical packages such as Python, R or MATLAB is required. Experience of Linux/Unix will be advantageous. Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria.
Duration: 8-10 weeks (start date and duration TBC by arrangement with the supervisors).