Harvesting the sea shore is an integral part of coastal life, but at local, national and global scales these inter-tidal fisheries are highly valuable, extract significant biomass and have considerable impacts.
They urgently require governance equivalent to other offshore fisheries, but critical gaps in our understanding of these data-limited activities remain, and these gaps currently prevent the implementation of evidence-based fisheries and resource management for coastal regions, especially within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
The Solent and Poole European Marine Sites (MPAs) on the south coast of the UK provides a unique opportunity to assess the extent and impacts of these fisheries, as they support high levels of bait, clam, cockle and oyster collection, each operating at different spatial scales and utilising different methods.
This project is designed to assess the extent of these fisheries and evaluate the impact of these collection methods on habitats, target and non-target species and the function that these deliver (i.e. ecosystem services). The project will also provide evidence to support effective management strategies that will meet future UK and European conservation, economic and social priorities.
The successful candidate will have opportunities to acquire a diverse set of skills including macrofaunal sampling and identification, trace metal and sediment analysis, GIS mapping, aerial photography, assessments of functional traits and hydrodynamic modelling. You'll also work closely with the relevant agencies including the Solent Forum, Natural England and The Southern Inshore Fisheries Conservation Agency and be part of the vibrant Ecotoxicology and Environmental Monitoring Group.
In addition, you’ll have access to the Graduate School Development Programme and Department Postgraduate Researcher Training. Expected career opportunities would be academic research as well as conservation and fisheries resource management for government agencies, NGOs and environmental consultancies in the UK and beyond.
Please contact Dr Gordon Watson (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.
When you're ready to apply, you can use our online application form and select ‘Biological Sciences’ as the subject area. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV.
Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process.
Please note, to be considered for this self-funded PhD opportunity you must quote project code BIOL4890219 when applying.
The work on this project will look at:
-what is the historical and current extent of inter-tidal fisheries within the MPAs
-what impact do inter-tidal fisheries have on the bioavailability of sediment-bound pollutants
-how is ecosystem function affected by inter-tidal fisheries
-what are the population-level impacts of inter-tidal fisheries on wading birds
- You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum second class or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject
- In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or Qualifications
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0