AER & FAME Review May 2014


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Latest news and views from the aquatic MSc programmes at Queen Mary University of London

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AER & FAME Review May 2014

  1. 1. AER & FAME Review… May’14 The latest... Places are rapidly filling for our Aquatic Ecology by Research and Freshwater and Marine Ecology MSc programmes. It looks like we will have a very interesting and diverse set of students studying with us from October. Project updates: Melina Jack (AER part-time) is discussing her project plans with Drs Christophe Eizaguirre & Jon Grey to study whelk population dynamics & trophic ecology in collaboration with the Kent and Essex IFCA, also supported by DEFRA. This will involve accompanying trawling research vessels to collect samples and then plenty of follow up time in the lab applying mitochondrial and stable isotope techniques. Cool multidisciplinary study! Houting larvae from Marco's salinity tolerance experiment — in Kiel, Germany Also AER, Marco Magazzu’ is using his extended project time to assess whether anthropogenic hybridization can further threaten the endangered North Sea houting, one of the rarest fish species in N Europe. This is also work with Christophe and Marco has been spending some time working in the labs at Kiel University in Germany. Is it ‘clear’ which ones contain invasive crayfish? The pond mesocosms, the site of at least four MSc theses are still actively in use. Former AER student, Ed Willis-Jones, is here testing effects of red swamp crayfish ecosystem engineering on oxygen and methane dynamics, as well as zooplankton community composition and use of methane- derived carbon. So… What’s new? A new optional module, field based in Crete, is being made available to FAME students keen to explore the use of statistical methodology in designing, collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and presenting population dynamics experiments and observations…. Tough decision! The Aquatic Ecology Group is a major player in the recently launched Natural Environment Research Council funded London Doctoral Training Partnership. This essentially means there are 36 PhD positions up for grabs every year for the next five spread across the London Consortium. So, plenty of scope for converting your MSc straight into a PhD Dr Andrew Hirst is part of a new NERC & DEFRA co-funded project. Called Marine Ecosystems Research Programme, this 5 year multi-million pound project is focused on UK marine ecosystems, understanding their past, present and future states. I foresee spinoff MSc projects! The latest version of the Handbooks for 2014 are available to download from the MSc web pages. Compiled by Dr Jonathan Grey Type ‘FACS field trips’ into YouTube and see what you get! E-mail: Follow on Twitter @MSc_FAME Web: Where are they now? • Ed Willis-Jones (AER 12-13) will be giving a demonstration of invasive crayfish ecosystem engineering at the River Thame Conservation Trust in June • Dimitra Mantzorou (FACS 12-13) did her MSc project with the Environment Agency on invasive ‘demon’ shrimp in the Thames. Her results are being combined with experimental results from a BSc and a PhD student into a joint publication to be submitted later this summer. • Congrats to Felicity Shelley (FACS 09-10) who worked with Prof Mar kTrimmer for her MSc thesis and has just had her first paper published in the prestigious Proceedings of the Royal Society: Shelley, Grey & Trimmer (2014) Widespread methanotrophic primary production in lowland chalk rivers. PRSB 281 (1783)