Project: Understanding Key Geological Processes and Controls on Cold-water Coral Habitat Development in Submarine Canyons (MMMonKey_Pro)
A PhD candidate is sought to undertake a project that will investigate the temporal dynamics of palaeo-cold-water coral habitats with special attention to reef cessation and initiation. Recent work on the Irish Porcupine Bank Canyon (PBC), a natural laboratory isolated from terrigenous input, has revealed extensive speciose, high biomass cold-water coral (CWC) structural habitats. Sediment cores collected through coral reefs, mounds and coquina will be subjected to non-destructive CT-scanning to reveal internal architectures as well as matrix and coral sub-fossil analyses (particle size, micropalaeontology, geochemical proxies and datings). The history of cold-water coral reef development in various environmental settings in the upper canyon will be studied paying attention of the styles of development, deposition and preservation under differing palaeoenvironmental conditions. The PhD project is part of a broader study (1 Postdoc, 2 PhDs, 1 MRes & 1 RA) monitoring canyon hydrodynamics, sedimentary processes and coral-morphotypes to reveal the process thresholds defining coral sub-habitats' limits, in space and time, and to allow predictive CWC, and habitat sensitivity, models to be developed to assist in marine spatial planning. Process thresholds will reveal the potential impact-response from climate change facilitating knowledge-based recommendations for effective management.
Key Duties and Responsibilities
This project is considered as a period of training for the candiate with dual goals in terms of research project development and career development. The candidate will be supervised by Principal Investigator (PI: Prof. Andy Wheeler - UCC) with additional supervision from Dr. Aaron Lim (UCC). Under the direction of the PI, the candidate is expected to:
School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences, University College Cork
The School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences (BEES) (http://bees.ucc.ie) is a highly research-active school and comprising 25 academic staff and more than 100 researchers, including postdoctoral researchers. BEES also has strong links to the University's Environmental Research Institute (ERI) (http://eri.ucc.ie), Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG) (http://icrag-centre.org) and industry. We offer a number of highly regarded taught undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes, including a Masters in Environmental Geology, as well as contributing to inter-disciplinary degree programmes in the University.
For informal enquiries on the post candidates should contact:
Name: Prof. Andy Wheeler
Please submit a short cover letter and C.V. to Prof. Andy Wheeler at the above email address on or before the closing date of 1st December 2017.
Supplementary Information on the School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences is available at the following URL: http://www.ucc.ie/en/bees/