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Effects of environmental pollution on Molluscan endocrinology

Applications are invited for a 4 year NERC-funded PhD studentship at Brunel University London with The London NERC DTP, to start in September 2020.

Outline of project:

Molluscs make up a large and diverse phylum, second only to Arthropoda in the number of species. They show an incredible variety of size, shape, behaviour, life history and habitat and are vital components of most aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

Pollution from agriculture, industry and households can pose a significant threat to mollusc populations. One of the areas of research strength at Brunel University London is research into endocrine (hormone) disrupting chemicals and how these may impact wildlife and humans. Molluscs are known to be sensitive to endocrine-disrupting pollution. However, surprisingly, compared to other groups of animals (e.g. vertebrates, arthropods, etc.), there are many unknowns and misconceptions about the underlying hormonal systems which control molluscan development, growth and reproduction. Without this understanding, chemicals may continue to enter the environment and harm mollusc populations. Research on molluscan endocrinology (e.g. using molecular grounding) to inform possible mechanisms, endpoints, and biomarkers for inclusion in chemicals regulatory testing guidelines is urgently required. This PhD project will combine computational toxicology and bioinformatic approaches, with molecular/omics, and in vivo assessments, to address critical gaps in endocrinology processes of Molluscs.


Application Process

This studentship is open to applicants who qualify for home or EU fee status. Please see: https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Information--Advice/Fees-and-Money/Home-or-Overseas-fees-the-basics and https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Information--Advice/Fees-and-Money/England-fee-status#layer-6082. If you have queries about eligibility contact Kate Moore (email: k.moore@ucl.ac.uk) for guidance. As a minimum, the entry criteria are an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Relevant practical or work experience in a related field may also be taken into account. Further details can be found in the UKRI Terms and Conditions.

How to apply

Submission of documents

All applicants will be required to submit the following:

  1. Completed Application Form 
  2. CV;
  3. 2-page cover letter outlining your suitability to this proposed project.
  4. English Language certification for students from outside the UK.
  5. 2 academic references

Academic References

Before we can consider your application, we will need to receive two academic references. Please direct referees to this page to complete your reference: https://london-nerc-dtp.org/apply-to-the-london-nerc-dtp/referee-form/. References may be completed in advance of submitting your application.

Only references received from valid institutional email addresses will be accepted. Any responses received from non-accredited email accounts, such as Hotmail, Gmail etc., will not be considered.

Please submit your applications to Kate Moore k.moore@ucl.ac.uk by no later than August 7th.

Any questions about the proposed project please contact Dr Alice Baynes alice.baynes@brunel.ac.uk