Sea Change Issue 13 | December 2016
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Welcome to Sea Change, our monthly newsletter

Below you'll find details of upcoming events and opportunities, as well as highlights of the work that the Marine Institute does to support marine and maritime research across Plymouth University.

Happy holidays from the Marine Institute

Marine Institute News
Jiangsu Maritime Institute visits Plymouth University
The Marine Institute hosted a visit by delegates from the Jiangsu Maritime Institute (Nanjing, China) on 20th December. JMI has a long history of training seafarers and is one of the first maritime schools to be accredited by the International Maritime Organisation. The delegation were particularly interested in our navigation training and research facilities and met with key staff to discuss future collaborations.
Microplastics research informing G7 governments
Prof Richard Thompson (centre) from our International Marine Litter Research Unit gave a keynote presentation for the G7 microplastic meeting, convened by the Environment Ministry of Japan, Tokyo on 10th December. Professor Thompson recently co-authored a chapter for the influential report: The Future of the Ocean and its Seas: a non-governmental scientific perspective on seven marine issues of G7 interest. Read the report
Success for the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project
The Mayflower Autonomous Ship project has successfully raised over £100,000 in its recent Crowdfunder campaign. The project aims to build an autonomous vessel capable of conducting scientific research across all corners of the global ocean. The ship will sail across the Atlantic in 2020 as part of the Mayflower 400 celebrations. Read more
Communication skills for the next generation of scientists
Marine science PhD students and graphic designers from across Plymouth teamed up for a two-day Infohackit event on 5-6th December. The students learnt new skills whilst creating appealing infographics to communicate their science. Dr Nick Higgs (Marine Institute Deputy Director) was one of the judges and praised the "remarkably stunning and professional" efforts of the teams. The winners will go on to compete in a national competition.
Research Highlights
Human Encroachment into the Marine Environment
Multiple Plymouth University staff have co-authored a major review article on 'Ocean sprawl: challenges and opportunities for biodiversity management in a changing world'. The review was led by Dr Louise Firth (Environmental Science) and published in the highly respected series, Oceanography and Marine Biology: an Annual Review. Read the paper
Lobster fisheries sustained by 'dark carbon'
Scientists have discovered that one of the most important fisheries in the American region is being sustained by an unusual food source – ‘dark carbon’. The new study in Current Biology, led by Dr Nick Higgs, has revealed how one fifth of the Caribbean spiny lobster’s food comes from a process known as chemosynthesis. Read the paper
** Highlight from the Plymouth Student Scientist **
Modelling phytoplankton at the Sub-Antarctic Front 
Undergraduate student Zoë Waring participated in an oceanographic research expedition to the Sub-Antarctic Front as part of the NERC-funded SMILES project. She collected data that formed the basis of her research project, showing that turbulence at the edge of eddies supports phytoplankton blooms. Read the paper
Upcoming Events
Annual Meeting of the UK & Ireland Regional Student Chapter of the Society for Marine Mammalogy
18-20 January, Plymouth University
The committee for the UKIRSC welcomes all students across the UK and Ireland to join us for the UKIRSC conference from 18th – 20th January 2017 with an icebreaker on the evening of the 18th. Registration deadline 11 JanuaryMore information
International Shipwreck Conference
4 February, Robbins Lecture Theatre, Plymouth University

Organised by the International Maritime Archaeology and Shipwreck Society (IMASS), the 35th International Shipwreck Conference is run by wreck enthusiasts for enthusiasts. The conference has the theme of 'Shipwrecks, diving and marine archaeology'. More information
PlyMSEF Research Conference
9 February 2017, PML
The Plymouth Marine Science Education Foundation annual early career research conference brings together students and early career scientists from marine organisations across Plymouth to share the latest research. Abstract deadline 9th JanuaryMore information
Global Challenges Research Fund information day
10 February 2017
This event will provide information and insight into the opportunities provided by the GCRF and showcase university projects aligned with the GCRF agenda. Professor Tim Wheeler, Director of Science and Innovation at NERC, has agreed to provide the keynote presentation for an exciting University event. More information
Careers: Transforming your skills into an offer of services
24 February, Plymouth University
This session is applicable to marine science PhD students and research staff who are considering career options outside academia. The session is free but limited to 12 places. Participants must commit to attending the whole event and provide a copy of their CV.  Bookings can be emailed to by 3 February 2017.
Porcupine Marine Natural History Society
Annual conference 11-13 March 2017

For anyone interested in the science and natural history of marine life. Learn about and discuss the fascinating aspects of the theme: Marine Species Biology. Bring along your interesting, unexplained or new observations of species biology. More information
Opportunities & Funding 
PhD studentshipShip smoke on the horizon? Determining the impact of aerosol trace elements from shipping emissions deposited into the North Atlantic Ocean.
In this project you will determine trace elements in ship emissions and aerosol / rainwater samples collected at coastal and open ocean sampling sites in the North Atlantic. Laboratory simulations will be used to study the dissolution of these trace elements into seawater, using well established techniques.
Deadline 8 January 2017. More information
PhD studentship: Assessing the vulnerability of aquatic invertebrates to climate change: an interdisciplinary approach to predictive modelling
This project will combine cutting-edge, bio-imaging technology and molecular tools for measuring lethal and sub-lethal endpoints in aquatic gastropods in order to produce more robust predictive models of species’ vulnerabilities to climate change.
Deadline 31 January 2017. More information
PhD studentshipIdentifying barriers to small-scale crustacean aquaculture in South Asia
This studentship will use an interdisciplinary approach to identify and analyse the extent to which socio-economic and ecological factors contribute to the success of small-scale mud crab aquaculture on both the east and west coasts of the Indian subcontinent. Deadline 31 January 2017. More information
PhD studentshipIntegration of HF Radar data and laboratory experiments for wave energy
With the advent of sophisticated observation tools such as directional wave buoys and the HF radar, more detailed information is available for wave farm design. The aim of this project is to investigate how HF radar data may be used to design experiments for WEC testing in the laboratory. 
Deadline 31 January 2017. More information
PlyMSEF Travel Grants
Trustees of the Plymouth Marine Science & Education Foundation are pleased to announce that a limited number of Grants-in-Aid of up to £400 will be available in 2017 
to people who meet the criteria for attendance at conferences, 
symposia, workshops or advanced training courses. Deadline 22 January 2017. More information | Application form
Big Ocean Button Challenge - Developing Mobile Apps to Unlock Ocean Data
XPRIZE is proud to announce our sponsorship of the Big Ocean Button Challenge on HeroX - a $100,000 mobile app development competition to turn ocean data into the products and services we need. Prizes will be awarded for apps in the following categories: Fishing, Shipping and Trade, Ocean Acidification, Public Safety, and Exploration. Deadline 31 March 2017. More information
Edouard Delcroix prize
The Flanders Marine Institute invites applications for the Edouard Delcroix prize. This recognises an original scientific study on the links between oceans and human health.
Deadline 31 December More information
The Society for Nautical Research
The society invites applications for the Tomlin fund, which supports education in historical maritime affairs. Deadline  January 2017More information
Newton Fund for working with overseas partners:
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