Sustainable Future Global Aquaculture – Water Resources, Pollution and Biodiversity Protection. [Biosciences)] – PhD (Funded) via FindAPhD

University of Exeter

Exeter, UK 🇬🇧

About the Project

Location:

Based in Biosciences, Streatham Campus, Exeter, with periods spent at the Centre for Ecology and Conservation, Penryn Campus, Penryn.

Cefas/Exeter Partnership:

The Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the University of Exeter have a Strategic Alliance that aims to combine the complementary capabilities and perspectives of both organisations. This Alliance was further strengthened in 2018 via establishment of the Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture Futures (see: https://www.exeter.ac.uk/saf/). A major component of the Alliance is to support joint PhD studentships. In accordance, we are pleased to announce the intention to fund two new PhD projects to start in September 2022. This project is one of four projects that are in competition for funding from the University of Exeter and Cefas. 

For eligible students the studentship will cover Home tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £15,609 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study.  

Project Background and Aims:

Aquaculture is of great importance to global food security, particularly in Low Income, Food Deficit Countries (LIFDCs), where it sustains the lives of an estimated 20.5 million people and contributes hugely to poverty alleviation. Over 90% of global aquaculture occurs in Asia, Africa and South America where it is set to more than double in the next 30 years, forming a major part of their growth economies. It is well recognised, however, that historically, aquaculture of species, such as shrimp, has had major negative environmental impacts, including through the widespread removal of mangroves in turn destroying wild fisheries nursery grounds. Projected growth of aquaculture through expansion and intensification in these countries, and globally, will place further pressure on land space, water resources and biodiversity. This studentship will seek to identify the practicalities of in-country aquaculture expansion plans for Bangladesh and Malawi considering water resources (quantity and quality) and wildlife habitat impacts with the overall goal of identifying the most sustainable aquaculture practices and their locations. Results will be used for guiding in- country expansion and the protection of biodiversity rich habitats, in turn making a real- world contribution to the protection of our global environment.

The Studentship:

This exciting and multifaceted PhD studentship will use a combination of freely available maps and remotely-sensed data, Google Earth and government reports to map current aquaculture activities across Bangladesh and Malawi, identifying the land and coastal (Bangladesh) footprints. Working with our in-country partners the student will then collate data on national/regional aspirations for seafood supply to identify the types, production volumes and their markets and map what is known regarding where this expansion is proposed. The student will then collate data on freshwater resources and pollution across these countries to understand limitations for production volumes increase, including considerations of potential climate change impacts. Using available land cover maps for these regions the student will assess habitats lost to aquaculture and model potential changes in selected species distributions associated with the aquaculture practices. Finally using modelling of potential impact of water quality/pollution on the country aspirations for aquaculture growth will be assessed and habitat/biodiversity impacts qualified and quantified, including for climate change prediction.

Training and Project Development:

The student will join a highly interdisciplinary team with expertise in aquaculture, water quality, biodiversity, GIS, modelling and economics and with considerable global outreach. The student will spend time at both Exeter (Streatham and Penryn) and Cefas, balanced by the needs of the work and skills training. Through established partnerships they will interact directly with various global partners to gain experience on ground operations in aquaculture, water resources and measures and valuation methods for biodiversity. This PhD studentship offers an exceptional opportunity for researching into some of the most important challenges in future global food security and balancing this with the urgent need to protect our planets biodiversity.

This award provides annual funding to cover Home tuition fees and a tax-free stipend. For students who pay Home tuition fees the award will cover the tuition fees in full, plus at least £15,609 per year tax-free stipend. Students who pay international tuition fees are eligible to apply, but should note that the award will only provide payment for part of the international tuition fee and no stipend.  

The conditions for eligibility of home fees status are complex and you will need to seek advice if you have moved to or from the UK (or Republic of Ireland) within the past 3 years or have applied for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

International applicants need to be aware that you will have to cover the cost of your student visa, healthcare surcharge and other costs of moving to the UK to do a PhD.

Entry Requirements

Applicants for this studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of biosciences/environmental biology/conservation and have both a keen interest in interdisciplinary work and in applying science to facilitate real world change for the protection of the environment.  

If English is not your first language you will need to have achieved at least 6.5 in IELTS and no less than 6.0 in any section by the start of the project. Alternative tests may be acceptable (see http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply/english/).


Funding Notes

This award provides annual funding to cover Home tuition fees and a tax-free stipend. For students who pay Home tuition fees the award will cover the tuition fees in full, plus at least £15,609 per year tax-free stipend. Students who pay international tuition fees are eligible to apply, but should note that the award will only provide payment for part of the international tuition fee and no stipend.


POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

DEGREE REQUIRED