A PhD Scholarship in Freshwater Fish Biology is available at the National Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua) with starting date December 2016. The scholarship is part of a larger EU funded project Adaptive Management of Barriers in European Rivers (AMBER). The project will primarily be carried out in affiliation to the Section for Freshwater Fisheries and Ecology situated in Silkeborg, Denmark. DTU Aqua is an institute at the Technical University of Denmark.
The Research at the Section for Freshwater Fisheries and Ecology evolves around fish, fisheries and ecology, focusing on behaviour of fish as a means towards better understanding of population dynamics and overall ecological mechanisms. Our research aims to advance the understanding of ecosystem functioning with focus on freshwater- and migratory fish species through integration of individual behaviour, status of individual traits and environmental factors, often via relevant technologies such as telemetry systems. Results from this research are widely used in knowledge based adaptive management of recreational fisheries, including stock conservation, habitat restoration and stakeholder involvement.
All major rivers in Europe are fragmented by barriers in the anthropogenic constructed dams and weirs etc. These barriers have a huge impact of both geomorphology and biota, contributing to the very poor habitat quality of EU Freshwater systems. Barrier removal is increasingly recognised as a valid strategy capable of restoring connectivity and free-movement of biota, nutrients and sediment. In their impounded states, rivers and stream are adjusted to conditions of restricted flow and sediment transport. Whilst the broad assumption is that removal of the barrier will restore a natural flow regime, there is little knowledge allowing us to predict the biogeomorphic trajectory of a river once a barrier has been removed (Pizzuto, 2002). Experience of large-scale removal projects in the USA, such as the demolition of Condit and Elwah Dams, have indicated quick recovery of key biological parameters. However, in the case of smaller dams, there is a paucity of knowledge on the recovery processes of small streams and, crucially, the overall ecology of the stream catchment. Such small-scale impoundments are typical of many EU Rivers which may have one million or more of small to medium impoundments with heights below 10m. The EU is gradually adopting barrier removal as a restoration strategy despite some uncertainty on the impacts of removal on geomorphology, vegetation communities and in-stream biota. The AMBER project seeks to appoint a PhD candidate to a fully funded position at the interface of lotic ecology and fluvial geomorphology.
To apply, please read the full job advertisement at www.career.dtu.dk