Blue carbon in a changing world

Blue carbon in a changing world

Supervisors: Dr Nicholas Kamenos (, Dr Adrian Bass (, Dr Heidi Burdett (Lyell Centre), Prof. John Baxter (Scottish Natural Heritage), Dr Ian Davies (Marine Scotland Science).

Description: Carbon sequestration by natural systems may be a solution for slowing down atmospheric CO2 increases, and has been recognized under the United Nations ‘Framework for Climate Change Convention’, within the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) programme. The sequestration of carbon into ocean sediments by marine ecosystems for long-term storage is termed ‘blue carbon’, to differentiate it from carbon stored in terrestrial ecosystems such as forests.

Coralline algae are a globally ubiquitous, highly calcified type of macroalgae (i.e. seaweed) found from the intertidal to the lower limit of the photic zone (300+ m), forming vast reef-like structures that harbour high biodiversity at multiple trophic levels. Accumulations of coralline algae create deposits (known as maerl beds) spanning the last 20,000 years. There is evidence that these beds store significant quantities of carbon, acting as globally-important blue carbon repositories. This project will investigate the spatio-temporal response of blue carbon to environmental change, using the extensive maerl beds in Scotland. The student will utilise a multi-disciplinary approach that will combine field and laboratory research, developing skills in carbon biogeochemistry, stable isotope ecology, marine carbonate chemistry and spatial modelling. Partnership with Marine Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage will allow the scholar to directly engage with marine policy and management, providing a unique opportunity for multi-sector experience and research-policy translation.

Funding notes: Funding is available to cover home tuition fees for 42 months, as well as paying a stipend at the Research Council rate (estimated £14,553 for Session 2017-18). International candidates will be considered, though would need to pay the remainder of the international tuition fees.

How to Apply: Please refer to the following website for details on how to apply:

Deadline: 18 December 2017. Interviews will be held on 19 January 2018

Start Date: Ideally February 2018, but not after April 2018