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PhD Studentship: Evaluating microplastic contamination in fishmeal

Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Friday 14 December 2018
Reference:  1082418A3

Project Reference: CDT-SIS-541

Microplastics have emerged as a major environmental problem over recent years. Plastic litter and microplastics are ubiquitous in the marine environment- present in water and sediments, and taken up by marine creatures. Their presence in marine environments provides risks to natural systems and to sources of marine food. The global fish meal and fish oil industry is a vital component of global food security- providing feed for aquaculture and terrestrial farming around the world. As fish meal is made from either fish caught for this purpose, or discard material from bycatch of processing, it is possible that the fish meal produced contains some microplastic contamination. This project seeks to evaluate this risk- working with the UN- affiliated global marine ingredients industry body (iffo.net) to examine the extent of plastic exposure to related fisheries, and to examine processing practices to establishes potential risk pathways and mitigation approaches.  
 
 Supervision will be provided by an interdisciplinary team from the University of Southampton’s Marine Plastic Pollution Group (https://www.southampton.ac.uk/smmi/academics/marine-plastics.page ), and advised by an industry supervisor.  
 
 The student will have the opportunity sample at industrial sites in the UK and internationally, and the work is expected to have impact at a global level.  
 
 Candidates require a good first degree in environmental science or a related subject (e.g. marine biology, chemistry). Candidates with relevant laboratory and field experience, as well as GIS and modelling skills will be most suitable, although training will be provided. A candidate with some experience of interdisciplinary work will be most suitable for this role.  
 
 The project will be supported as a four year integrated PhD in the University of Southampton’s Sustainable Infrastructure Systems Centre for Doctoral Training http://www.cdt-sis.soton.ac.uk/), with taught and research elements in year one and a full time research focus in years two, three and four.  
 
 If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Malcolm Hudson Email: mdh@soton.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0) 2380 594797  
 
 Applications are considered on a case by case basis, please can you make sure that you get your application in as soon as possible for the project if you are interested to avoid any disappointment.  
 
 This project is being run in participation with the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Infrastructure Systems (View Website). For details of our 4 Year PhD programme and further projects, please see http://www.cdt-sis.soton.ac.uk/ 

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

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