The University of Newcastle, Australia

Molluscan Biomonitor of EDCs

Closing Date: 25 January 2021Apply Now


PhD Scholarship

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can produce alarming detrimental impacts on the reproduction and survival of aquatic species, though little is presently known in terms of their effect and impacts on sensitive marine invertebrate species. We propose the development and validation of a marine mollusc(oyster) as a biomonitor for the detection and impact assessment of estrogenic contaminants in Australian marine waterbodies.

Oyster

An opportunity exists for a PhD candidate to work on an Australian Research Council Linkage Project in association with the University of Newcastle, Griffith University, Hunter Water and NSW DPI (Fisheries) in Newcastle, NSW Australia, commencing in early 2021.

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can produce alarming detrimental impacts on the reproduction and survival of aquatic species, though little is presently known in terms of their effect and impacts on sensitive marine invertebrate species. We propose the development and validation of a marine mollusc(oyster) as a biomonitor for the detection and impact assessment of estrogenic contaminants in Australian marine waterbodies.

The project will involve a series of lab-based aquaria experiments exposing oysters to estrogens and assessing developmental and molecular responses for biomarker development. The project will also involve a field deployment of oysters at wastewater treatment plant ocean outfalls and assessing molecular and biochemical biomarkers in oysters along with analysis of estrogens in waste and receiving waters. An oyster biomonitor will provide water management agencies with the capability to manage estrogenic effluent discharges and provide the oyster industry with a tool to prevent product contamination, ensuring the continued health and sustainability of our aquatic resources.

PhD Scholarship details

Funding: $28,092 per annum (2020 rate) indexed annually. For a PhD candidate, the living allowance scholarship is for 3.5 years and the tuition fee scholarship is for four years. Scholarships also include up to $1,500 relocation allowance and Overseas Student Health Cover at single rate, for an international candidate. The scholarship will be offered to the successful candidate subject to the grant being fully established.

Supervisor: Dr Geoff MacFarlane

Available to: Domestic and International students

PhD

Eligibility Criteria

A first-class honours degree or Masters in ecotoxicology, marine science or environmental sciences with experience in scientific writing would be preferred. The project will involve both laboratory-based work and field-based deployment of oysters, so candidates with experience in molecular techniques, analysis of contaminants and experience in conducting marine-based field research will be preferred. Must have a current drivers licence and be a strong swimmer.

The applicant will need to meet the minimum eligibility criteria for admission.

Application Procedure

Interested applicants should send an email expressing their interest along with scanned copies of their academic transcripts, CV, a brief statement of their research interests and a proposal that specifically links them to the research project.

Please send the email expressing interest to Geoff.MacFarlane@newcastle.edu.au by 5pm on 25 January 2021.

Applications Close 25 January 2021 Apply Now


Contact Dr Geoff MacFarlane
Phone +61 2 4921 7858
Email Geoff.MacFarlane@newcastle.edu.au

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