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PhD Studentship: Managing the Environmental Impact of Antifouling Biocides in Recreational Marinas Through Stakeholder Engagement

University of Essex - Life Sciences (Primary Discipline) Government (Secondary Discipline)

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Colchester, Essex
Funding for: EU Students, International Students, Self-funded Students, UK Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 28th March 2024
Closes: 31st May 2024
Reference: 11356 Life Science & Government March
 

Overview

This is an opportunity to conduct fully funded interdisciplinary research under the ‘Sustainable Transitions – Leverhulme Doctoral Training Programme’ at the University of Essex.

Antifouling coatings protect vessels from marine biofouling (growth on the hull), which would otherwise increase fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. However, most antifouling coatings contain toxins that are released into the environment. While commercial vessels conform to strict rules, recreational boats are less regulated with regard to fouling-control practices. This project will work with local stakeholders to understand the release, environmental fate and impact of antifouling biocides from small craft using a combination of fieldwork, laboratory assays and human behavioural science. Best-practice guidelines will then be developed through stakeholder collaboration.

Interdisciplinary focus

Fundamentally, the project combines life and political sciences to better understand how knowledge of environmental technologies can impact public opinion and behaviour. The project will be based in Dr Aldred’s laboratory in the School of Life Sciences, but will be run in collaboration with the Department of Government at the University of Essex. This partnership recognises the importance of public opinion in policy development in democratic countries, and that solutions are only as effective as their implementation. Human adaptation is necessary for adoption of any new technology, and we will work with communities to understand entrenched behaviours relating to use of the marine environment.

Training and Support

You will be supported through the Sustainable Transitions training programme which provides initial training in interdisciplinary research methods, training in the secondary discipline within the project area and ongoing training throughout the duration of the programme. All doctoral scholars benefit from the support of Proficio which entitles you to £2,500 that can be used to purchase training courses either within or external to the University. Additionally, all scholars are entitled to an additional £10,000 that can be used for training and research support. Doctoral scholars are encouraged to audit/attend University masters and degree level courses where appropriate. You will also have the support of the Sustainable Transitions management team as well as your own supervisory team. All Sustainable Transitions scholars will become part of the University of Essex ‘Centre for Environment and Society’ through which ongoing events and networking opportunities are available.

Person specification

This project would suit applicants with a degree / equivalent in biological or environmental sciences and enthusuiasm to actively engage and implement social sciences methodologies. No prior experience of the latter is required and training will be provided across the sciences and social science elements of the studentship.

Research Proposal

The project area is broadly defined, leaving scope for the applicant to develop their own specific research proposal as part of the application. The successful candidate will further develop their proposal in close consultation with the supervisory team. 

Closing Date: 31st May 23:59 GMT

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