M.Sc. Research Studentship  Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology 

Population dynamics of turbot, a commercially important flatfish, on sandy beach nursery grounds

Project Ref: PopTurb1

Funding body: Department of Education, Technological Sector Research Program, Strand I,

Description: Turbot (Psetta maxima) are a commercially important species in Irish waters with reported landings worth almost €2 million to the Irish fishing Industry.
The species has been identified as the highest value farmed marine species in Europe and is a candidate for stock enhancement programmes.

Very little is known of the early life history of this species in Ireland, or elsewhere. Basic data on spawning times, locations and juvenile nursery grounds is lacking.

Such data are essential for the sustainable management of this natural resource. This project proposes to determine the timing of critical events in turbot early life history.

Turbot are known to spawn in open water with larvae drifting in ocean currents to eventually settle on sandy beaches.

Routine beach seining on sandy beaches will establish peak settlement times and densities.

Otoliths (stones in the inner ear of fish, used in hearing and balance) will be extracted from juvenile fish and used to determine age, hatching dates, larval duration and growth rates, settlement dates and post-settlement growth.

Daily increment formation will be validated in cultured turbot of known age using advanced otolith preparation techniques.

Research Environment:

The successful applicant will be working within a well-established research group at GMIT, the Commercial Fisheries Research Group, and also working closely with two other related projects on flatfish nursery grounds.

Requirements / Background :

The successful candidate will hold an honours degree (minimum 2:2) in Fisheries Science, Zoology, Marine Biology, Ecology, or related discipline.

A current driving licence and own car are essential as there is a significant element of fieldwork in both years of the project.

A knowledge of the biology of marine fish and the Irish fishing industry and computer skills are desirable.

Project Start-Date: December

Project Duration: 2 years

Conditions: The student will be paid a stipend of €12,300 per annum with additional expenses provided to cover field work travel costs

Closing Date for Applications: Please send a CV and completed GMIT application form by post to the Development Office, GMIT, Dublin road Galway to arrive no later than November 10th

Application forms are available on the GMIT website: http://www.gmit.ie/information/vancancies/

Further Information: Further information on this project may be obtained from Dr. Deirdre Brophy (deirdre.brophy@gmit.ie) or Dr. David McGrath (dave.mcgrath@gmit.ie).

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