Opportunities

The following opportunities to work on iAtlantic-related research are available within our partner institutions:


PhD studentship: Cold-water coral reef growth and loss in a changing ocean

University of Edinburgh - Supervisors Dr S Hennige, Prof M Roberts & Dr Uwe Wolfram

Description: Cold-water corals (CWC) are key habitat-forming organisms found throughout the oceans from 30 to 3000 m deep. The complex three-dimensional frameworks made by these vulnerable marine ecosystems support high biodiversity and commercially important species compared to neighbouring, less complex habitats. If this habitat complexity was reduced, the ability of these to support high levels of biodiversity would decrease. This would have huge implications for the species that rely on these reefs. The scholar will investigate the future of cold-water coral reef framework in a 3-tiered approach. 1) Long-term experimentation on live coral physiology and dead coral framework structural integrity when exposed to projected future environmental and sediment conditions. 2) Analysis of cold-water coral reef video to assess the proportion of live and dead coral framework across a range of environments. 3) Building on 1 & 2 to assess Atlantic CWC reef growth and loss over the coming century.

More information: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/cold-water-coral-reef-growth-and-loss-in-a-changing-ocean/?p112216

Deadline for applications: 31 October 2019



PhD studentship: Assessing the impact of multiple environmental stressors on Atlantic Ocean deep-sea ecosystems

Heriot Watt University - Supervisor Dr Andrew Sweetman

Description: Since the mid-20th century, pressure from fishing has increased along continental margins and offshore banks and seamounts worldwide, with many pelagic and benthic ecosystems having already been heavily impacted by trawling and substantial international concerns raised over the potential impacts of deep-water hydrocarbon exploration and production. Future exploitation from mining for seafloor massive sulphide (SMS) deposits could have further significant adverse impacts through the generation of mine tailings and sediment plumes dispersing across vast areas. Encroaching human activities will therefore be happening in parallel with ocean warming, acidification, and in some regions, reduced oxygen levels, food supply and quality to the ocean’s interior.  This PhD project will focus on quantifying how various multiple stressors (e.g., temperature and organic matter quality) impact key benthic ecosystem processes (e.g., faunal and microbial C-cycling rates, bioturbation) using shipboard incubations experiments.  The student will also assess how abyssal seafloor and demersal ecosystem functioning changes across environmental gradients in the North and South Atlantic to inform how changes in organic matter fluxes and changes in oxygen levels will impact deep-sea ecosystems in the Atlantic Ocean over the next century.   The student will gain knowledge on a variety of methodologies to explore ecosystem function at the seafloor, and experience in using advanced in-situ lander technologies. 

The PhD student will be based in the Marine Benthic Ecology, Biogeochemistry and In-situ Technology group at the Lyell Centre for Earth and Marine Science and Technology – a new pioneering global research centre set up between Heriot-Watt University and the British Geological Survey (BGS).  The studentship will be a part of a major deep-sea project (2019-2023) called iAtlantic – Integrated assessment of Atlantic marine ecosystems in space and time, funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 program.  The student will be required to attend multiple 35-day research cruises to the Cape Verde abyssal basin in the N. Atlantic, the Santos Basin in the S. Atlantic in 2020, and a deep-diving submersible cruise to the  N. Atlantic in 2021.  The student will also be required to conduct periodic research exchange trips to Brazil and within Europe, as well as attend national and international research conferences and project meetings.

More information: www.hw.ac.uk/schools/energy-geoscience-infrastructure-society/postgraduate-research/assessing-the-impact-of-multiple-environmental-stressors-on.htm

Deadline for applications: 5 December 2019



iAtlantic opportunities at the Spanish Oceanographic Institute (IEO)

At the IEO-Spanish Oceanographic Institute we offer within the project iAtlantic (Integrated Assessment of Atlantic Marine Ecosystems in Space and Time) five contracts. Category, duration and tasks of each contract is indicated for each profile below. All the information for application is available (unfortunately only in Spanish) at IEO web: www.ieo.es/es/web/ieo/ofertas-de-empleo and is summarised below. The deadline for submission of applications is 12 September 2019.

Contract Code 365-1
Title requirement: Doctoral Degree, Master Degree, Engineering Degree, Architecture Degree or equivalent.
Workplace: IEO, Palma, Mallorca, Balearic Islands (Spain)
24 months. Full time contract

Description of tasks:

  • Quantitative processing and interpretation of video transects and submarine images acquired with ROVs, underwater, submersibles.
  • Habitat mapping
  • Participation in oceanographic expeditions, stages in other research institutes, both nationally and internationally located for 1-2 month stays each year. Participation in International meetings and workshops.
  • Planning and carrying out of experiments in aquaria with deep-water species
  • Processing of information acquired through video footage and aquaria experiments
  • Statistical analysis of data
  • Univariate and multivariate analysis methods
  • Species distribution models and Predictive models
  • Preparation of scientific publications and participation in the preparation of scientific/technical reports for the project
  • Participation in project meetings and presentation of project results in international Symposia
  • Collaboration in supervising students
  • Excellent level of English and good grasp of statistical tools (R) is essential


Contract Code 365-2
Title requirement: Doctoral Degree, Master Degree, Engineering Degree, Architecture Degree or equivalent.
Workplace: IEO, Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
24 months. Full time contract

Description of tasks:

  • Processing of hydrographic data from CTD and LADCP
  • Calibration of CTD with autosaL measurements
  • Analysis of physical, biological and chemical parameters with CTD and LADCP, combined with data from submarine cameras (video and still images) and/or ROVs, for the characterisation of water masses and dynamics of seamounts
  • Analysis of data from numerical models and diverse observation systems which exist in the Atlantic (Argo, GDP, RAPID)
  • Statistical treatment of data using matrix programming language
  • Participation in oceanographic expeditions and international meetings
  • Preparation of scientific publications and participation in the preparation of scientific/technical reports for the project dealing with the oceanographic dynamic in the Atlantic


Contract Code 365-3
Title requirement: Bachelor, Technical Engineering, Technical Architecture or equivalent.
Workplace: IEO, Palma, Mallorca, Balearic Islands (Spain)
19 months. Full time contract

Description of tasks:

  • Ecophysiological experimentation in aquaria with cold-water corals and other benthic organisms
  • Set up of experiments with aquaria
  • Data analysis of experiment results, combined with information on oceanographic parameters acquired during campaigns
  • Statistical treatment of data
  • Univariate and multivariate analysis methods
  • Stages in other research institutes, both nationally and internationally located for 1-2 month stays each year. Participation in International meetings and WS.
  • Good grasp of English essential


Contract Code 365-4
Title requirement: Bachelor, Technical Engineering, Technical Architecture or equivalent.
Workplace: IEO, Palma, Mallorca, Balearic Islands (Spain)
36 months. Part time contract

Description of tasks:

  • Administrative support for the project (time sheets, financial reporting and management, file storage, etc)
  • Technical coordination (communication with different IEO centres, with the coordinating partner and other project partners, follow up of activities, fulfilment of tasks to deadlines, circulation of information and meeting reminders, etc.)
  • Collaboration in the coordination of oceanographic expeditions
  • Preparation of technical and financial reports (collation and editing of content, proofreading and version control)
  • Good grasp of English essential since the majority of communication will be in this language


Contract Code 365-5
Title requirement: Bachelor, Technical Engineering, Technical Architecture or equivalent.
Workplace: IEO, Madrid (Spain)
24 months. Full time contract

Description of tasks:

  • Participation in oceanographic expeditions, principally those related to thematic mapping
  • Processing oceanographic data; acquisition, processing and management of geoscientific information.
  • Interpretation and analysis of geoscientific information in the environment of geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Assessment and management of geoscientific information on online spatial data infrastructure databases.
  • Mapping of benthic fauna
  • Quantitative processing and analysis of underwater video images
  • Participation in the preparation of scientific reporting
  • Participation in the preparation of scientific reports and dissemination of project results