- Dr Mark Fitzsimons, University of Plymouth
- Dr Simon Ussher, University of Plymouth
- Dr Ruth Airs, Plymouth Marine Laboratory
- Dr Gill Malin, University of East Anglia
Microalgae are major components of marine ecosystems, providing essential roles including using carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. Our research shows that they also produce nitrogen-containing compounds (N-osmolytes) used for alleviating salinity stress and maintaining photosynthesis. These compounds degrade in seawater to produce methylamines, which can move into the atmosphere and take part in chemical reactions, influencing cloud formation and climate.
This project is an exciting opportunity to advance understanding of the cycling of N-osmolytes and methylamines by algae today and in the future. Climate-change scenarios predict conditions leading to variable riverine inputs to coastal areas and changes to the balance of nutrient pools. Your challenge is to investigate how these changes might affect production of N-osmolytes and methylamines, with potentially important consequences for the climate.
Based at the University of Plymouth with periods of working at Plymouth Marine Laboratory and University of East Anglia, this studentship will include algal-culturing and field sampling in coastal and oceanic waters. We are a strong multidisciplinary team with excellent track records for research on algae and measurement of the compounds to be studied.
You will develop advanced laboratory and field research skills plus transferable skills to support your future career. The analytical techniques and approach are cutting-edge providing an excellent portfolio of skills to launch your career in science and industry.