ESR01 - Quantification of fish response to multimodal signals

Host Institution: SOTON - University of Southampton 

Location: Southampton (UK)

Doctoral degree: PhD in Ecological Engineering at the University of Southampton

Job description: Fish have significant economic, ecological and cultural value. Freshwater ecosystems are the most degraded of all environments, and as a consequence, freshwater fish are one of the most threatened groups of vertebrates on the planet. Human activity, such as river engineering for irrigation, electricity generation, and navigation, is a fundamental causal factor for the decline in many freshwater fish populations. However, we do not fully understand the mechanisms that explain how habitat modification, such as a disrupted hydrodynamic and acoustic environments, operate in isolation or in combination to negatively impact fish at the level of behaviour and physiology. This project will focus on adopting a reductionist approach to quantify how hydrodynamics and acoustics, in isolation and in combination, influence fish behaviour through acting on different sensory modalities.  Information obtained will not only enable conservation efforts to be advanced, but may also provide the stimuli needed to develop environmental impact mitigation technology (such as behavioural deterrents). Working as part of an interdisciplinary team of fish biologists and engineers at the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, the successful candidate will develop a series of experiments that will use large-scale experimental facilities (flumes and tanks) to investigate fish behaviour in response to manipulated hydrodynamic and acoustic environments. They will develop skills in experimental design, behavioural monitoring using fine-resolution filming techniques and particle tracking of fish movements, various analytical techniques such as Matlab and R, and technical writing capabilities. The research team at the International Centre for Ecohydraulics Research has a strong track record in publishing high impact scientific articles, public engagement and political outreach, and employability for graduates.  

Workplace: The successful applicant will be based at the new University of Southampton Boldrewood Innovation Campus. The campus provides unique high quality working space integrated with world leading laboratories including the National Infrastructure Laboratory, the Maritime Centre of Excellence, the Lloyd's Register Group Technology Centre, and the Engineering Centre of Excellence. The purpose-built environment houses state-of-the-art facilities used by our engineering staff and students. These include our unmanned vehicles laboratories, fluid dynamics laboratory, metal and wood workshops and a driving simulator. Furthermore, the student will spend a large proportion of time at the satellite ecohydraulics facility 2 miles away at the Southampton Science Park. At this facility the University owns a variety of large scale internal and external facilities, including acoustic tanks.

Secondment period (to be confirmed): Expected duration: 4 months; Hosting institutions: EAUK (Environment Agency - Brighton, UK), KAU (Karlstad University - Karlstad, Sweden)

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RECRUITMENT

Candidate requirements:

Degree: 

  • BSc / MSc in an appropriate environmental science / biological discipline or engineering
  • Applications from candidates not yet graduated by the call deadline (with Diploma foreseen at the latest by the end of July 2020) are accepted

Specific mandatory skills:  

  • Interest in working on an interdisciplinary subject
  • Numerical capabilities 

Specific desirable skills: 

  • Strong statistical skills
  • Strong problem solving / analytical capabilities 

Specific requirements of the Doctoral School:

The IELTS requirement for PhD for overseas students is 6.5 overall and at least 6.0 in each area or speaking, listening, reading and writing. Equivalent qualifications can be considered. A 2.1 undergraduate degree or equivalent overseas grade is required for all PhD entry.

Mobility rule:

Applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in UK for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.

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Contact person(s): 

Paul Kemp P.Kemp@soton.ac.uk

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Work package

Supervisor

Co-supervisor