Research Student Project

Supervisor name & contact details: / Name: Dr Alan Gilmer
School: Management
Weblink (if available):
Research Centre Name and Website (if applicable) / Environmental Sustainability & Health Institute (ESHI)
Please indicate if the intention is to transfer from the Masters programme to the PhD programme (if applicable) / Yes:
No: N/A
Please indicate if the project is suitable for a self-funded student / Yes:
No: ü
Funding Agency / Fiosraigh Enterprise Scholarship Scheme 2016
Scholarship Details / The stipend is €16,000 per annum. The cost of academic fee will be covered for the duration of the scholarship. This work will be based in ESHI labs (DIT–Grangegorman), Bord na Mona labs (Newbridge, Co Kildare) and on site at the aquaculture facility at Mount Lucas, Co. Offaly. Computer and desk space facilities will be provided. A bursary of €2000 will also be provided for travel and conference attendance along with some limited materials.
Subject Area / Water Quality, Biomass, Aquaculture
Title of the Project / The role of Duckweed in controlling nutrient levels in a flow controlled split-pond aquaculture systems
Project Description (max 300 words)
Bord na Mona’s is seeking to leverage added value from their existing land stock (>80,000 ha) through the development of intensive organic perch-trout aquaculture operations at selected sites. The intensive development of aquaculture is challenged by the need to control water quality within the systems and limit the accumulation of surplus nutrients and wastes. This PhD study proposes to evaluate the use of a Split-pond Production System where the fish stocks are held in a smaller stocking pond and water treatment occurs in a larger second pond. The proposed treatment process in this larger treatment pond involves using the natural physiological processes of the Duckweed plant to control water quality. Thus this study seeks to evaluate the growth and development of Duckweed as a nature based solution to optimize the control of water quality in an intensive aquaculture system and maximise Duckweed biomass. This represents a novel approach to Perch-Trout based aquaculture in Ireland and is well suited to the eco-hydrological setting typical of Irish midland cutaway peatlands under Bord na Móna ownership and management. This work will develop an understanding of the relationship between duckweed physiology, availability of nutrients, biomass accumulation and a water quality output deemed optimal for Perch-Trout stocking densities. This PhD based study will develop an optimisation protocol for a Duckweed Controlled - Water Treatment System in collaboration with Bord na Móna & Bord Iascaigh Mhara.
Please indicate the student requirements for this project
Minimum Required: Primary Degree, 2.1 / Upper Second Class Honours or higher in; Life Science, Natural Sciences, Environmental Science, Biological Science, Chemistry or equivalent.
Desirable: Masters degree (MSc, MPhil, etc.) in, Environmental Science, Aquaculture, Eco-Hydrological Science, Biochemistry & Hydrology, Freshwater Ecology or equivalent - Field and laboratory skills in freshwater ecological sampling and analysis.
Deadline to submit applications (only for funded projects) / Closing date for Applications: 1st September 2016
Interested applicants should submit a CV & cover letter together with their online application