Two funded plankton PhD opportunities at Plymouth University!

UPDATE (6 August 2015): The application process is open! Click on the project titles here for application instructions. Please contact me if you’d like to discuss in more detail. Good luck!


Two competitive, funded PhDships with me are about to be advertised at Plymouth University. The formal adverts won’t be out until next week but we want our students to start this autumn, so here’s a heads up. Please forward this on to any bright students who might be interested.

The first, “An indicator approach to integrating historical and contemporary ecological datasets: a century of plankton change in the NE Atlantic” is in collaboration with SAHFOS and will be jointly supervised by me (Director of Studies), Professor Martin Attrill (Plymouth University Marine Institute) and Mr David Johns (SAHFOS). The work will focus on linking up three plankton datasets (two of which are new and have never been used) to look at plankton indicators in the NE Atlantic during the past 100 years. The indicators will then be applied to policy scenarios, with results incorporated into the decision making process in the UK and Europe. The interdisciplinary aspects of the PhDship connect ecology, taxonomy, and conservation through marine policy and will further stakeholder (policy makers and society) understanding of key science-policy challenges. The student will develop skills in spatial and temporal analysis, analysis of large datasets, statistical techniques, plankton sampling and analysis methods, and application of science to policy. Through partnership with SAHFOS, the student will undergo training in basic plankton taxonomy and will develop an in depth understanding of CPR sampling and analysis methodologies. This work is highly publishable and we are looking for a student with multidisciplinary interests to carry it out. Click here for more information, or email me to set up an informal chat (abiqua at

The second PhDship will be jointly supervised by Professor Jason Hall-Spencer (Plymouth University, Director of Studies) and myself. This studentship, entitled “The impact of CO2 emissions on plankton in the NE Atlantic”, uses natural CO2 seeps as a proxy for an ocean acidification-impacted marine environment. The student will investigate changes in the plankton community across a variety of CO2 and nutrient gradients. The studentship involves both experimental and field work and results will feed into decision making concerning use and conservation of the marine environment under future climate conditions. Click here for more information, or email Jason (jhall-spencer at or myself (abiqua at for an informal chat.

Good luck!

Abigail, Plankton and Policy

Image: Plankton Chronicles

Image: Plankton Chronicles

About Abigail McQuatters-Gollop

Marine biologist, guitarist, cat lover, red wine drinker. I like plankton.
This entry was posted in PhdShip, Plankton, Policy, students and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Two funded plankton PhD opportunities at Plymouth University!

  1. Pingback: Back to school….as a lecturer! | Plankton and Policy

  2. Pingback: The use of historical ecology in marine conservation | Plankton and Policy

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