PhD Fellow position (EU Marie-Curie)- aquatic ecotoxicology

Updated: about 1 month ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 06 Jun 2021

1 PhD Fellow position (fully funded at EU Marie-Curie stipend-rates for 3 years) is available in the field of aquatic ecotoxicology at the University of Aveiro (UAVR), Portugal.

The PhD position is part of the CHRONIC project - “CHronic exposure scenarios driving enviRONmental rIsks of Chemicals”, which is an Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) grant No. 956009.

The lead supervisor is located at the University of Aveiro, Portugal with co-supervision by Aarhus University, Denmark.

Applications for PhD fellowships within the PhD Doctoral Program in Biology and Ecology of Global Changes, a dual degree between the University of Aveiro and University of Lisbon, are welcome for students registering at the University of Aveiro. Grants, starting between 01.06.2021 and 01.9.2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. Applications are requested from candidates seeking to pursue their PhD work at the research centre CESAM (Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies), within the area of aquatic ecotoxicology on the topic of sediment exposure, link between physiological changes and benthic invertebrate behavior, sub-cellular to individual-level effects; multiple stress; predator-prey; mesocosms.

The Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM) is an Associated Laboratory of the University of Aveiro evaluated as Excellent Research Unit by FCT, the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation. CESAM’s research objectives are to promote a more efficient use of terrestrial and aquatic (from catchment to the deep sea) environmental resources leading to a more competitive, resilient and sustainable economy, in line with i) the national and Centro-Portugal region research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation (RIS3), ii) the UN SDG's for 2030, following integrative approaches, and iii) the EU priorities, namely Horizon Europe pillar II, combining science, policies, business and stakeholders, following trans-disciplinary approaches. The PhD project is associated with the Environmental Changes, Hazards & Conservation (ECHC) research group and with the laboratory applEE- Applied Ecology and Ecotoxicology (read more about CESAM here: ). The PhD project is associated with Aarhus University, Denmark.

While conducting your individual research project, you will be joined into a network of 13 PhD Fellows (ESRs) at academic institutions across Europe all aiming at developing tools and approaches to identify nonstandard modes of toxicity for long-term, low-dose chemical exposure and their interactions with other environmental stressors. All CHRONIC partners have extensive experience in education and training and a high state-of-the-art scientific and technical expertise and infrastructure. The programme will therefore lay the basis for an integrated approach to environmental risk assessment.

CHRONIC includes training-by-research, joint training courses, covering technical, scientific, ethical, and transferable skills. Fellows will also engage actively in communication to scientific and public communities. Being part of CHRONIC offer you an excellent opportunity to work within a strong, interdisciplinary and intersectoral network including leading Universities and research institutions across Europe as well as industry, consultancy, governmental and non-governmental institutions in Europe and Canada. COVID-19 pandemic allowing you will be able to undertake research placement at partner institution involved in the CHRONIC project from across Europe, as well as attending project training event and international conferences.

Research area and project description

The title of this specific PhD project is “Different biotic and abiotic environments change the responses of Lumbriculus variegatus to long-term exposures to chemicals”. The project will be supervised by Susana Loureiro, UAVR and co-supervised by Jesper Givskov Sørensen, AU, focusing on the consistency of chemical induced Key Initiating Effects (KIE) and individual level responses in Lumbriculus variagatus in cases of combined chemical and abiotic and biotic stressor exposures. Using an experimental approach and sediment organisms, the aim is to investigate the 1) link responses at low levels of biological organization e.g. level of strand breaks in DNA, immunotoxicity assays, mitochondrial respiration, or neurotoxicity, with individual responses (including behavior and regeneration); 2) KIE and behavioural responses of L. variagatus to chemical exposure in the presence of a competitor or a predator; 3) changes in KIE and individual endpoints when chemical exposure is conducted under different abiotic conditions, and 4) construct AOPs for the different conditions to link effects across different levels of biological organisations.

The execution of the workplan for the project plans for the research to undertake periods of secondment for a total of about 5 months: Aarhus University, DK, University of Leiden, NL, and Cambridge Environmental Assessment (CEA), UK, where you will be trained in specific models and methods beneficial to you project.

The Doctoral School

The successful candidate will be enrolled in the UAVR Doctoral School (EDUA), with the PhD Doctoral Program in Biology and Ecology of Global Changes. The PhD student will be recruited under an employed contract in accordance with the Marie Sklodowska Curie regulations and the applicable national Law.

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