A NERC marine eDNA biological invasion PhD opportunity available via Marc Rius, NOC

A NERC Doctoral Training PhD program entitled:

Environmental DNA and the study of marine biological invasions

Is available via the Southampton National Oceanography Centre SPITFIRE Doctoral Training Program. These positions will be competitively awarded to the strongest applicants from as pool of different titles. The PhD would be hosted at NOC and supervised by Marc Rius, in collaboration with Si Creer, Gary Carvalho and Mark de Bruyn and a brief synopsis follows:

Biological invasions are responsible for a wide-range of economic and conservation problems. Studies have shown that the earlier an invasive species is detected, the more cost-effective and quicker it is to control or eradicate. Therefore, research aimed at successfully detecting and managing invasive species has the potential to considerably mitigate their effects, as well as reveal ecological and evolutionary mechanisms occurring during the invasion process.

Recent development of advanced molecular biology techniques has generated revolutionary opportunities for research. A rapidly emerging example is the study of environmental DNA (eDNA), in conjunction with high throughput analyses, which permits characterisation of species composition and biodiversity monitoring of entire communities. The study of eDNA allows the detection of inconspicuous or rare species, which may later expand their ranges and become problematic.

This project will produce standardised eDNA protocols to rapidly and reliably detect marine non-indigenous species that occur in introduction hotspots (harbours and marinas). These methods will directly benefit key economic activities such as aquaculture and shipping by providing an early warning system to detect and monitor the presence of problematic species. In addition, this project will provide genetic and analytical protocols to compare populations across different spatial scales.

Closing date: Monday 4th January 2016. For more information, please visit: http://noc.ac.uk/gsnocs/project/environmental-dna-study-marine-biological-invasions and/or contact Si Creer (s.creer@bangor.ac.uk), Gary Carvalho (g.r.carvalho@bangor.ac.uk) or the lead PI Marc Rius (M.Rius@soton.ac.uk) for further details.

For both positions, NERC residency eligibility rules will apply available here:


Publication date: 12 October 2015