Competition Funded Studentship Bioinformatics approaches for assessing the impact of temperature on eukaryotic phytoplankton

Deadline: 30 April 2014.
Start Date: October 2014.
Supervisory Team: Professor Vincent Moulton, Email:

The Project: 
Marine phytoplankton (microalgae and cyanobacteria) contribute about 50% of global carbon production and so have significant impact on biogeochemical cycling of elements and therefore climate. Despite the significance of temperature for evolution, metabolism and biogeochemical cycles in the ocean, the exact impact on natural eukaryotic phytoplankton communities is still subject to much debate but is of significant importance to predict the outcome of global warming for some of the most important primary producers on earth. In this highly interdisciplinary project, the student will work together with a unique combination of world-class experts in bioinformatics, genomics, and algal genetics with the aim of providing evidence that temperature in the surface ocean has a significant impact on eukaryotic marine phytoplankton (microalgae) community structure and metabolism. This will build on recent work that appeared in Nature Climate Change on sequencing microalgae genomes and metatranscriptomes that has been jointly undertaken by researchers at the Schools of Computing and Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia. The student will work mainly on developing algorithms and computer programs for analysing microalgal metagenomes and metatrascriptomes with Prof. Vincent Moulton (UEA) and Dr. Thomas Mock (UEA), who are at the forefront of developing tools for analysing high throughput sequencing data and marine microalgal genomics. A background in computer science or a related discipline is required, but a prior knowledge of biology is not necessary.

Also Read  NERC Studentships x 2

Entry Requirements: 
First degree (2.1) in Computer science or equivalent relevant subject.

This project is in a competition for two funded 3 year studentships within the School of Computing Sciences, one of which is funded by the University and the other by EPSRC.

Funding for the studentship from EPSRC is available to successful candidates who meet the UK Research Council eligibility criteria including the 3-year UK residency requirements. These requirements are detailed in the EPSRC eligibility guide which can be found at In most cases UK and EU nationals who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the course are eligible for a full-award. Other EU nationals may qualify for a fees only award. All candidates should check to confirm their eligibility for funding.

An annual stipend of £13,726 will be available to the successful candidate.

Making Your Application:
Please apply via the University’s online application system.

NB Applications are processed as soon as they are received, so early application is encouraged.

To discuss the application process or particular projects, please contact the: Admissions Office, email: or telephone +44 (0)1603 591709. 

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