Studentship: Effects of anthropogenic noise and climate change driven stressors on benthic invertebrate mediation of ecosystem functioning, NOCS (UK)

A major evidence challenge for Defra and within the EU MSFD is to investigate whether and to what extent underwater noise may affect marine ecosystems. While many single species studies have been conducted on marine mammals, and to some extent on fish and invertebrates, very few have been able to directly demonstrate effects on ecosystem functioning. The project team has been pursuing this line of research through studies on the effects of noise on the physiology and behaviour of benthic species, with particular regard for nutrient cycling as an ecosystem function. The methodologies developed, using large numbers of mesocosms in controlled conditions to enable replication and randomisation, provide direct evidence for effects on ecosystem functioning.

The studentship will examine the role of biodiversity-function relations in shelf sea benthic systems and will develop unique capability in experimental methodology, in particular the incubation of benthic communities exposed to sound and vibration representative of human activity (shipping, offshore construction) and under alternative environmental futures (ocean acidification, hypoxia, temperature).

Application opens: Oct. 2016

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