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PhD Studentship: Enhancing Aquatic Monitoring and Radiological Dose Assessment Using Statistical and Biological Tools

University of the West of England, Bristol

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bristol
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,285
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 16th March 2021
Closes: 23rd April 2021
Reference: 2021-OCT-HAS03
 

An opportunity to apply for a funded full-time PhD in the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences, UWE Bristol. The studentship will be funded by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and UWE Bristol

The expected start date of this studentship is 1st October 2021.

The closing date for applications is 23rd April 2021 

About the Studentship

This project is a partnership between the University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE) and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas).  It will focus on the transfer of radionuclides to marine biota relevant to the UK’s annual Radioactivity in Food & the Environment (RIFE) report. Coastal invertebrates and seaweeds will be of particular interest.

About the Research

Long-term annual monitoring around the UK coast shows that the activity of radioisotopes emitted from nuclear facilities is very low (RIFE 25). Modelling the behaviour of these radioisotopes in the environment and estimating doses that arise from them involves estimating radioisotope transfer to a range of organisms. The transfer of radioisotopes from the environment into organisms differs between species and sites. This project will, using methods previously established for other organisms, disentangle the effect of site and species, to provide improved estimates of transfer of radioisotopes to marine invertebrates and seaweeds in particular.

In a given situation, the contribution to transfer of site variables is generally understood. Transfer to organisms is generally monitored by species but it is likely to be controlled by traits characteristic of groups of organisms. Existing transfer data will be collated and then experiments used to extend them. Phylogenetic signals in transfer will then be used to provide improved and new estimates of transfer.   

Opportunities

The project offers significant opportunities for experience in the areas of environmental protection, coastal biology, and radioecology. The successful candidate will spend time at both the Centre for Research in Biosciences at UWE and, the middle phase of research, with the Radiological Assessment team at Cefas. UWE is a member of the South-West Nuclear Hub and the successful candidate will have access to its events and expertise.

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email Professor Neil Willey on neil.willey@uwe.ac.uk

Funding details

The studentship is available from 1st October 2021 for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress, and includes a tax exempt stipend, which is currently £15,285 per annum. 

In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years (Home/EU rates only). Overseas applicants will be required to cover the difference between Home/EU and the overseas tuition fee rates in each year of study.

Eligibility criteria

The successful candidate will have at least a 2:1 BSc (Hons) in a relevant biological or environmental discipline. A Masters qualification and research experience relevant to the project is highly desirable.

A recognised English language qualification is required.

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