Topic: How do microbial communities respond to the instatement of Marine Protected Areas in the North Sea?

Topic: How do microbial communities respond to the instatement of Marine Protected Areas in the North Sea?

Personal details

Title How do microbial communities respond to the instatement of Marine Protected Areas in the North Sea?
Description

Marine sediments play an important role in the biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nitrogen, sulfur and metals. Most of these processes are facilitated by marine microbes, which colonize sediments in high numbers. The abundance and diversity of the microbes inhabiting the benthic environment can therefore impact chemical fluxes across the sediment water column interface such as for example the storage and emission of carbon.

In shallow shelf seas, sediments are heavily disturbed across large scales by an industrial fishing practice known as bottom trawling. In the North Sea alone, more than 60% of the bottom surface is trawled once or more per year.

We are studying how bottom trawling affects microbial abundance and diversity within the sediment to ultimately better understand the consequences of trawling on important biogeochemical processes. One of our project aims is to monitor microbial changes in marine protected areas (MPAs) that have recently been established within the German North Sea.

We are looking for a BSc or MSc student who is interested in developing an individual project within this topic which can also contribute to overarching project goals. The student will use molecular tools (DNA isolation, PCR, qPCR and next generation sequencing) to characterize microbial composition and estimate abundances to evaluate how microbial diversity and abundance change within the MPAs. Potentially, the student can join an offshore expedition for sample collection.

If you are interested, and would like to know more, please contact Dr. Guido Bonthond (guido.bonthond@uol.de).

Home institution Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment
Type of work practical / application-focused
Type of thesis Bachelor's or Master's degree
Author Dr. Guido Bonthond
Status available
Problem statement
Requirement

Practical experience with standard molecular techiniques such as DNA extraction and PCR, is appreciated, but not necessary.

Created 01/04/24