PhD opportunity: Thesis on marine microzooplankton

El grupo de Ecología del Zooplancton Marino en el Institut de Ciències del Mar (CSIC) de Barcelona ofrece un contrato a través de la convocatoria de contratos predoctorales 2015 del MINECO. El plazo de solicitud comienza el 15 de junio y finalizará el 29 de junio.

El proyecto de tesis se enmarcará en las líneas de investigación de un proyecto del programa Retos de la Sociedad recientemente subvencionado, “FERMI: Daily feeding rhythms in marine microzooplankton”, cuyo resumen se adjunta a continuación:

Microzooplankton (e.g., protozoans and copepod nauplii) are perhaps the most important grazers on primary producers in the oceans, and responsible for a large share of the transfer of matter and energy towards mesozooplankton, the pivotal link to upper consumers (i.e., fishes) in pelagic marine ecosystems. But in spite of their importance, key aspects related to their trophic behavior and the consequences for biogeochemical cycles and the economy of global pelagic systems are still an incognita. In this regard, one of the less known aspects are circadian feeding rhythms. This is a widespread behavior among large zooplankton (e.g., adult copepods, krill), usually associated to vertical migrations, and crucial for the Ocean carbon balance. Failing to adequately address this behavior will result in biased parameterization of food web transfer efficiency models and, therefore, will limit our capacity to disentangle the effects of climate change in marine ecosystems. In this project we aim at solving some relevant questions on the daily feeding activity of both protozoan and metazoan microzooplankton.

Our main objectives are the following:

  1. To assess the existence of endogenous cycles and the effects of light on microzooplankton feeding
  2. To assess whether light-induced changes in the quality of prey may enhance the intensity of feeding rhythms in microzooplankton
  3. To assess the effects of resource limitation on feeding rhythms
  4. To assess the threatening effect of the predator presence (indirect effects) on the feeding cycles of microzooplankton

Para más información, contactar con uno de los investigadores del proyecto, Albert Calbet:



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