Metabarcoding, using the latest deep sequencing technology, is revolutionising how we assess biological communities. This inter-disciplinary studentship project aims to develop a completely novel application of this technology: to detect and quantify invertebrate, phytoplankton and zooplankton species in aquatic ecotoxicity studies. Such studies are crucial for the testing and safety assessment of new pesticides or pesticide formulas to improve crop production. Metabarcoding will compliment, and has the potential to replace traditional microscopy techniques. The project will include the use of PCR, qPCR, next generation sequencing, and bioinformatics development. Conventional ecotoxicity methods will also be carried out and will include microscopy for taxonomic identification and enumeration of indicator species and the growth of monocultures. These taxonomy methods are increasingly rare and highly desirable skills in the ecotoxicology field.
The study will be based in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science (SVMS) at the University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington Campus, a recognised centre for excellence in Global Food Security. The student will also undertake placements with the project’s industrial sponsor Cambridge Environmental Assessment (CEA). This is a multi-disciplinary consultancy and research organisation specialising in the area of environmental toxicity.
This project will be supervised by Dr Kevin Gough (SVMS), Dr Tania Dottorini (SVMS), Professor Richard Emes (SVMS) and Dr Nadine Taylor (CEA).
Applications are invited from students who have/expect to graduate with a first/upper-second UK honours degree, or equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK. Students with an appropriate Masters degree are also encouraged to apply.
To apply for this PhD please visit https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/bbsrc-icase-project-application-of-molecular-tools-to-update-aquatic-ecotoxicology-monitoring/?p107340