[ES_JOBS_NET] PhD opportunity: Timescale interactions in marine microbes

Erika Marín-Spiotta marinspiotta at wisc.edu
Wed Jul 9 13:12:48 MDT 2014

From:    Juan Antonio Bonachela Fajardo <jabo at PRINCETON.EDU>
Subject: PhD opportunity: Timescale interactions in marine microbes

We are seeking candidates for a fully-funded PhD scholarship to work on tim=
escale interactions in marine ecosystems.=20

We aim to use diverse modelling approaches to explore the different layers =
of temporal complexity present in the lower trophic levels of the marine fo=
od web. Thus, this project would suit a theoretical biologist, or mathemati=
cians and physicist interested in biological questions. Applicants should a=
lready hold a Masters qualification or a first class or upper-second class =
undergraduate degree.

The preliminary starting date is October 2014, but application review will =
continue until the position is filled. Further details below.


PhD project title: Timescale interactions in marine microbes.

Institution: University of Strathclyde, Glasgow (Scotland)

Group/Department: MASTS Marine Population Modelling Group, Department of Ma=
thematics and Statistics=20

Supervisor: Prof. Michael Heath, Dr. Juan Bonachela

This studentship will be of 3 years duration with stipend and fees for a UK=
/EU student. (Final funding arrangements under negotiation)

Description: Marine microbes (viruses, bacteria, phytoplankton) are a key c=
omponent of the marine food web and of the most important biogeochemical cy=
cles on Earth. Because of their short generation time and vast amount of of=
fspring, these organisms evolve in timescales that are similar to the indiv=
idual's lifetime. Therefore, phenotypic plasticity (dynamic responses to en=
vironmental changes) and evolution interact necessarily during the single-o=
rganism life span. However, theoretical research typically study ecological=
 and evolutionary matters separately.

This project aims to study how considering these interactions may challenge=
 current predictions about the long-term behaviour of marine microbes. The =
project will use existing mathematical models, and develop new ones, able t=
o account for these interactions and dynamics. Due to the highly nonlinear =
ecological relations between organism, stochasticity inherent to mutations,=
 and overlap between ecology and evolution, the study and analysis of these=
 models will require from sophisticated (and probably innovative) mathemati=
cal and numerical methods. This project will be important to understand how=
 the lower trophic levels in particular, and the complete marine food web i=
n general, react to e.g. different climate change scenarios.

Start date: October 2014.
For more information please contact: Dr Juan Bonachela (Juan.Bonachela at stra=
th.ac.uk; jabo at Princeton.EDU).

To apply: http://www.strath.ac.uk/admissions/postgraduateresearch/
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