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Ph.D. Graduate Student Opportunity at Otago: Trace Metal Limitation of Phytoplankton Growth

We are seeking an enthusiastic and highly motivated student to undertake a fully-funded PhD project investigating trace metal nutrient limitation of phytoplankton growth in New Zealand lakes.

The project will involve working with a team of lake and geochemical scientists from the University of Otago, the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA), and Cawthron Institute, New Zealand.

The student will play a key role in the project coordinating the various aspects of the research, and addressing the following key research questions:

-What are the concentrations of key trace metals in lakes in the TVZ and is there seasonal variation in the bioavailability of and demand for trace metals?

-Are trace metals limiting growth of phytoplankton and in particular of cyanobacteria?

-What are the rates of nitrogen fixation by cyanobacteria and are they affected by trace metal availability?

-Is phytoplankton species composition affected by availability of trace metals and other nutrients?

The project involves clean room chemistry, water pre-concentration methods, and sector field inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (SF-ICPMS) for the quantification of trace metals in TVZ lake waters and phytoplankton culture experiments. A moderate amount of fieldwork for lake water sampling will be required.

Applications received on or before 30 November, 2017 will be considered for this position.

Contact Dr Piet Verburg (T: +64 (07) 867 1787; E: piet.verburg@niwa.co.nz) or Dr Claudine Stirling for further information about the project.

Additional information about the Department of Chemistry at the University of Otago, NIWA and Cawthron Institute can be found at http://neon.otago.ac.nz/chemistry, https://www.niwa.co.nz/ and http://www.cawthron.org.nz.

For more information please read the attached pdf:PHD_opportunity_Trace_metal_nutrient_limitation_of_phytoplankton.pdf

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