PhD Studentship: Quantifying fish response to acoustic bubbles in fresh and saline water: the pathway to effective “Scarefish” technology

Ref: CMEES-WEE-109

Deadline: Applications will be accepted at any time until the position is filled.

Water is drawn off from estuaries and rivers to be used as coolants in power stations, to drive hydroelectric plants, or to supply agriculture and domestic use. Fish are unintentionally damaged or killed, e.g. as they become trapped on screens at the inlet or as they pass through turbines. We wish to utilise the University of Southamptons’ world-leading expertise in fish biology and acoustics to develop an “acoustic scarecrow” that will deter fish from the water inlets without harming them. To achieve this we must advance understanding of fish response to sound. 

This NERC funded studentship will involve field and laboratory work conducted in collaboration with the Environment Agency to develop understanding of fish response to sound. The results will help design behavioural screening and attraction devices to help off-set the impact of river engineering while protecting aquatic habitats and biodiversity. 

This project will appeal to a person excited by the prospect of working at an interdisciplinary interface. The successful candidate will join a team of fish biologists and acoustic engineers, and should have an engineering or biological background, with strong numerical skills and an enquiring open mind. 

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Paul Kemp, International Centre for Ecohydraulics Research (, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 5871.

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