PhD Studentship - Understanding Risks of Long-term Introgression from Salmon Aquaculture (GAGE_U18DTP)

University of East Anglia - Biological Sciences

Start Date: 1st October 2018

No. of positions available: 1

Supervisor: Professor Matthew Gage

Project description: Aquaculture is identified as a key solution to satisfying increasing demands for animal protein from a growing human population. Farming fish is a relatively new form of domestication and, right now, we are at an early stage in its development, with ample opportunity to improve productivity and sustainability. Within aquaculture, salmon farming is a key player, with productivity surging since it started in 1979. Despite its great success, concerns exist about the sustainability and environmental impact of salmon farming. In this PhD project, you will research the reproductive potential of F1 hybrids between farm and wild salmon interbreeding, generating key data on long-term impacts of farm salmon escapes. These ‘hybrid’ fish could show reduced reproductive performance, allaying concerns about introgression, or they may have similar or even superior reproductive performance. The PhD will therefore conduct a full risk assessment of longer-term reproduction of farm x wild salmon hybrids, using both in vitro and in vivo assays of reproductive potential. The project will operate between UEA and collaborators at field sites in Norway and Scotland, conducting fertilisation experiments to measure the fitness of wild, farm and hybrid gametes, and recording and analysing spawning behaviour and performance of adult salmon. You will join a welcoming and active research group at UEA, and an energetic NRP DTP cohort. Training in a range of skills, from salmon management to microsatellite parentage exclusion, will develop you into an independent-thinking, international-impact scientist. The PhD will provide an excellent opportunity to achieve scientific impact on the sustainability of a fast-growing form of global food provision which will become even more important in the future.

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 9th, 10th or 11th January 2018.

The Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4 year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three month professional internship (PIPS) during their study. The internship offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website: www.biodtp.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk

Person specification: Standard minimum entry requirements: UK 2:1 or equivalent.

Funding notes: Full Studentships cover a stipend (RCUK rate: £14,553pa – 2017/8), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate, and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships, which when combined will equal a full studentship. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements. Details on eligibility for funding on the BBSRC website: www.bbsrc.ac.uk/web/FILES/Guidelines/studentship_eligibility.pdf

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

South East England