PhD Studentship: Identifying barriers to small-scale crustacean aquaculture in South Asia

University of Plymouth - School of Marine Science and Engineering

Applications are invited for a full-time PhD studentship commencing 1 April 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Project Description

The mud crab (Scylla serrata) is an economically valuable species throughout the Indo Pacific region, including on the east coast of India and Bangladesh. Such crustaceans are also vital as a protein source for coastal subsistence communities whom rely on small-scale aquaculture techniques.

A lack of knowledge about mud crab biology together with socio-economic constraints have both been cited as significant factors currently preventing the expansion of this fishery.

This studentship will use an interdisciplinary approach to identify and analyse the extent to which socio-economic and ecological factors contribute to the success of small-scale mud crab aquaculture on both the east and west coasts of the Indian subcontinent.

This project will combine molecular, ecophysiology and ecological laboratory and field techniques with qualitative and quantitative social science approaches to examine aspects of mud crab reproductive biology, ecophysiological susceptibility to climate change, and disease management.

Qualitative and quantitative social science techniques will be used to identify and analyse the social-economic reasons why, despite technological advances and government backed educational and financial initiatives, mud crab aquaculture has yet to reach its potential in many coastal areas. Relevant experience is desirable but not essential as full training will be given.

However, a willingness to embrace the ethos of an interdisciplinary research project is paramount. Due to the fact that the biological and social science fieldwork and most of the laboratory work will be conducted in India a willingness to travel is essential.


Applicants should have (at least) a first or upper second class honours degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant MSc or MRes qualification.

The studentship is supported for 3 years and includes full Home/EU tuition fees plus a stipend of £14,296 per annum. The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for Home/EU fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover overseas fees will have to cover the difference between the Home/EU and the overseas tuition fee rates (approximately £11,040 per annum).

If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please contact Dr Lucy Turner ( However, applications must be made in accordance with the details below.

General information about applying for a research degree at Plymouth University is available at:

You can apply via the online application form which can be found at: and click ‘Apply’.

Please mark it FAO Francesca Niedzielski and clearly state that you are applying for a PhD studentship within the School of Marine Science and Engineering.

For more information on the admissions process contact Francesca Niedzielski (

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on 31 January 2017.


DoS Dr Lucy Turner (, tel.: 01752 584488)

2nd Supervisor Dr Lynda Rodwell (, tel.: 01752 584725)

Other supervisors

  1. Prof Anna Godhe, Gothenburg University, Sweden
  2. Prof Indrani Karunasagar, Nitte University, Mangalore, India
  3. Prof Ramachandra Bhatta, College of Fisheries, Mangalore, India

We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received an offer of an interview by 28th February 2017 should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.

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South West England