Filter feeders such as sponges and corals are the backbone of rich epibenthic communities, but the processes governing the fluxes of organic and inorganic materials across the epibenthic filter are only poorly understood.
This PhD position will close this gap for a range of filter-feeding communities, using in situ methods to study the role of the cold-water coral Desmophyllum dianthus as a filter for organic material in Chile, and the role of heterotrophy in allowing coral calcification in acidified waters. An additional field study will investigate the role of Antarctic filter-feeders in the flow of carbon in areas subjected to ice-shelf loss and glacial melt. The two studies will involve diver-assisted sampling using standard methodology. A third study carried out in parallel will combine and adapt optical, acoustic and microsensor methods to quantify the flux of particle and solute fluxes using advanced techniques.
The study will be based at AWI Bremerhaven in the section Bentho-Pelagic Processes and involve field stays in Chile and King George Island, Antarctica.
For more information please see the Academic pre-requisites for the Univeristy of Bremerhaven.
For details on how to apply see the job description.