PhD position: Faunal colonization at hydrothermal vents (Ifremer, France)

PhD title: Influence of hydrothermal activity and substratum types on
faunal colonization processes in the deep-sea

*Dead-line for application: May 31st 2016*

*A PhD position* is proposed under the supervision of three researchers
of the Laboratoire Environnement Profond (Deep sea Lab) of Ifremer.

We are looking for a dynamic, motivated young researcher, with a
Master’s degree, to study the influence of hydrothermal activity and
substratum types on faunal colonization processes in the deep-sea. This
project aims at better understanding faunal (from microorganism to
macrofauna) colonization and successional processes in deep-sea
environments in the vicinity of hydrothermal vents. It based on an
extensive colonization experiment of several organic and inorganic
substrata that took place between 2013 and 2015 at five deep sites
characterized by a decreasing level of hydrothermal activity (see
publications by Cuvelier et al. 2014, Zeppilli et al. 2015, Plum et al.
accepted, DSR II).

The specific objectives are to :  (i) identify biodiversity and
understand faunal colonization processes; (ii) characterize microbial
diversity and the structure of microbial mats favouring the
establishment of communities,  (iii) evaluate the role of some
environmental factors (depth, temperature, substratum) on the
biodiversity and distribution of fauna; (iv) reconstruct the trophic
network of communities associated with different substratum types; (v)
compare the fauna found on the substrata with that of surrounding
environments (hydrothermal vent fauna on active sites, sedimentary
fauna); (vi) identify succession processes in different habitats and
propose a model.

The project will be based on sample analyses of different organic
(bones, wood) and inorganic (slates, sponges) substrata deployed on the
Mid-Atlantic Ridge and recovered in 2015. It will benefit from
collaborations with Ghent University (Belgium), Senckenberg Institute
(Germany), IPGP (France), Azores University (Portugal) and Moscow
University (Russia). Results of this project should significantly
increase our understanding of these hardly accessible environments, a
fundamental pre-requisite for the management, conservation and
protection of deep-sea ecosystems. It will be done in the frame of
national projects such as the Labex mer, ECCHIS research group, Lucky
Scales ANR as well as the European project EMSO (2011-…).
Key words: Meiofauna, macrofauna, microorganisms, biodiversity,
colonization experiments, recruitment, temporal dynamics, deep-sea
environments, biotic and abiotic factors, hydrothermal vents, succession

Location: The PhD will take place in the Deep-Sea lab at Ifremer Brest.
Cruise to complete sampling is envisaged.

Doctoral school : Ecole doctorale sciences de la mer, IUEM/UBO, Brest

Funding: Co-funding obtained from Ifremer and Labex Mer.

Applicant profile
Application to this program is open for all students, whatever their
nationality, with the equivalent of a master’s degree either in biology,
marine ecology or oceanography. Experience at sea valued as well as in
molecular biology and taxonomy of benthic fauna. Interests for
interdisciplinary approaches. Deep-sea ecological background a real plus
! Willing to learn French.

Applicants must apply through the following web site (doctoral school) :

For additionnal information please contact :
PhD supervisor : Jozée Sarrazin,, Head of the
Deep-Sea Lab, Ifremer
Co-supervisors : Daniella Zeppilli & Florence Pradillon,  researchers
Deep-Sea Lab, Ifremer

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