PhD students (or post-docs) needed for research on Climate change impacts on coastal ecosystems in the Mediterranean
Two exciting new projects are looking at the impacts of climate change on coastal ecosystems using the Israeli Mediterranean coast as case study. We are looking for excellent students for both.
One is part of an ISF grant testing the combined effects of ocean warming and bioinvasions on reef biodiversity and ecosystem functions and the links between them. We will apply (1) field work, using a mini ROV for benthic surveys, and incubation chambers to compare the biodiversity, metabolic functions and carbon sequestration capacity of shallow reef communities dominated by native vs. invasive species, (2) novel mesocosm facilitates (computer-controlled, flow through systems) to manipulate seawater conditions using near natural conditions (the delta-treatment approach) and, (3) biophysical- biogeochemical-ecological models to upscale the field and lab results to the coast and make predictions for the future.
The other, is a joint Israeli-US project under an NSF-BSF grant (together with colleagues from Northeastern University) aimed at predicting how fine-scale temperature variation will affect the spatial distribution and temporal stability of species and communities under climate change (and specifically extreme events). Here, we will (1) measure and model the scales at which topographic variability drives patterns of mortality for key species of invertebrates and algae in the Eastern Mediterranean rocky intertidal zone (the unique vermetid reefs); (2) use meta-population and meta-community modeling to explore how the distribution of refugia in space and time affects their function as rescue sites during periods of recovery; and (3) explore how temporal and spatial structuring of refugia, both within and among sites, will affect regional resilience to temperature extremes occurring at increasingly higher frequencies under climate change. We will do this work simultaneously also in the Golf of Maine with our Northeastern colleagues and combine and compare results to look for generalities and context dependencies. We will use a variety of modern tools to measure the topography and thermal landscape/seascapes as well as biological patterns at the sub-centimeter scale including laser scanning and drone photography. We will used field surveys and field and lab eco-physiological experiments to test for organisms’ vulnerabilities under extreme conditions of temperature and desiccation. We will use finite element models and scale transition theory to model these physical landscapes, and ecological models to test and predict the fate of ecological communities under current and future conditions (driven by climate change) at a variety of scales.
Successful candidates should have strong background in ecology and numerical or statistical skills are highly beneficial.
For more details and to apply please contact Dr. Gil Rilov email@example.com.
Checkout the lab website: www.rilovlab.com
???????????Dr Gil Rilov
National Institute of Oceanography