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

Faculty of Science 

Application Deadline 21st June 2013. This studentship is available for a 1st October 2013 start.

Supervisory Team Primary: Professor Vincent Moulton

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 on sequencing microalgae genomes and metatranscriptomes that has been jointly undertaken by researchers at University of East Anglia and the John Innes Centre.

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.

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Entry Requirements

A first or upper second class degree (or international equivalent) in Computing Science, or equivalent.


This studentship will cover the cost of fees at the UK/EU rate and provide a stipend at the standard RCUK rate (currently £13,726). Non-EU students are welcome to apply but due to funding restrictions will be required to pay the difference between UK/EU and International fees.

Making your Application:

Please apply via the University’s online application system.

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

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