Stud.IP Uni Oldenburg
University of Oldenburg
23.01.2022 17:48:23

Personal details

Title Climate change effects on the trophic structure of global marine fish communities

The Master project is open for application for graduate students interested in pursuing a Master degree in the field of climate change ecology and data analysis. Starting date is flexible, but no later than 01.01.2022. In this project, we are particularly interested in assessing future global changes in the trophic structure of the marine fish communities under climate change.


Background and objectives


Fish are a globally important food source and are a key component of biodiversity and ecosystem functions in marine systems worldwide (FAO, 2016; Villéger et al., 2017). Recent studies on climate change effects on marine fish have shown that many species are extending their distributional ranges towards the poles. In the near future these range expansions will be accompanied by range contractions at the equator bound edge of species distributions and general loss in suitable habitat space, depending on climate-induced environmental change. 

Species have varying dispersal capacities, tolerance ranges regarding environmental parameters and also habitat requirements, consequently the ability to shift distributional ranges with changing climatic conditions varies across species groups with potential consequences also for the integrity and balance of the trophic structure in marine food webs. This study will analyze whether climate-driven alterations in spatial species distribution patterns will lead to imbalances in trophic pathways due to unequal rates of range shift across trophic levels.

In order to answer these questions, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to work with a global database including trait information on more than 12.000 marine fish species and their modelled current and future distributions patterns under three CO2 emission scenarios (RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP8.5).


Preferably, the candidate should already have some skills and experience working with statistical computing software (e.g., R). This is a great opportunity to gain experience working with big data analysis tools and become familiar with recent literature on the effects of climate change in global marine biodiversity. Interested students are invited to send a letter with motivation and previous relevant experience, together with an updated CV, to or by 15.01.2022.
Home institution Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity at the University of Oldenburg
Type of work conceptual / theoretical
Type of thesis Master's degree
Author Dorothee Hodapp
Status available
Problem statement
Created 22/11/21

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