Dr Jennifer Graham, Cefas
Dr Kieran Hyder, Cefas
Dr Anthony Wise, NOC
The energetic hydrodynamic processes that occur along the continental shelf edge – the transition between shallow shelf seas and the deep open ocean – not only transport water masses, nutrients, and carbon across the shelf break, but are also thought to impact larval dispersal and population dynamics for commercially important pelagic fish species such as Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus). Many of these processes (for example internal tides, current meanders, and upwelling/downwelling) are enhanced by the complex geomorphology of submarine canyons, which are ubiquitous along continental margins worldwide and particularly large, numerous, and influential along the Celtic Sea shelf edge.
1) Determine the dominant shelf break exchange processes around the European northwest shelf.
2) Investigate how each of these processes impact Atlantic mackerel larval dispersal.
3) Predict how this ecological connectivity will respond to current and future climate change.
In this project, you will use a suite of regional ocean circulation models to investigate how different hydrodynamic processes impact Atlantic mackerel larval dispersal around the European northwest shelf, from the Celtic Sea to the northern North Sea. Mackerel egg and larval dispersal will be simulated using the OceanParcels particle tracking model, driven by the Atlantic Margin Model at both 7-km horizontal resolution and higher 1.5-km resolution; the latter resolving key shelf break exchange processes. Larval dispersal processes will be further isolated and tested by driving OceanParcels with idealised hydrodynamic models.
You will develop highly sought-after expertise in numerical ocean modelling and be trained in advanced methods for data processing, analysis, and visualization. You will collaborate with leading marine scientists at UEA, Cefas (the CASE partner) and NOC, present your research at conferences, and link your findings to Defra policy. You will also have the opportunity to participate in a research cruise to gain first-hand experience in observational oceanography.
You will have a physical science degree or similar (e.g. oceanography, meteorology, geophysics, environmental sciences, natural sciences, physics, mathematics, engineering). Experience with a computer programming language (e.g. Python, Matlab) will be an advantage. This exciting project is suitable for candidates from numerical disciplines.