KESS PhD in Biosciences: Control of fish pathogens

This funding opportunity has expired.

Key facts

Application deadline 30 April 2017
Start date 1 October 2017 or 1 January 2018
Duration 3 years
Funding body KESS
Level of study Postgraduate research
Award type PhD studentship
Number of studentships 1

Push-pull strategies: combination control of fish pathogens.

The project aims to assess the impact of climate change on fish parasites in order to generate a more accurate predictions and decisions regarding the future of aquaculture and sensitive wild fish population. This is a collaborative project between Eco-explore and the groups of Professor Joanne Cable from the School of Biosciences.

The project objectives are assessing how gyrodactylid parasites respond to multiple stressors (temperature and control treatment) and addressing fundamental questions about adaptation of fish pathogens to changing environment and identification of potential novel and effective parasite treatments in order to directly assist in the mitigation of losses in the wild, ornamental and food fish.

There are several technical and intellectual challenges associated with this project:

  • in vitro and in vivo efficacy of botanical compounds against Gyrodactylus spp. at different temperatures following the methods developed in our laboratory by Schelkle et al. (2009).
  • genetic adaptation of Gyrodactylus turnbulli and G. sprostonae maintained under constant or variable temperature regimes (following predicted global warming rises for the UK). Using whole genomic data for G. turnbulli previously generated in our laboratory, gene expression of varying Gyrodactylus strains will be examined for predominant.
  • variation in virulence of G. turnbulli subjected to repeated low dose drug exposure (standard positive control of Levamisole tested against the most effective new compound identified in WP1 and a negative water control). After 3 months drug exposure, individual parasites will be used to infect isolated fish (n=30 per treatment) and their infection trajectories will be monitored over the next month (using non-invasive methods; see Cable et al. 2000) at three different temperatures to assess whether virulence has been altered by the combined effects of drug exposure and altered temperature conditions.

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships 2 (KESS2) is a pan-Wales higher-level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the Higher Education sector in Wales.

It is part-funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) West Wales and the Valleys programme, by partners from the West Wales and the Valleys areas of Wales, and by Cardiff University.


Funding details

Tuition fee support Other
Fees are accounted for centrally by the University (with no charge to student/school accounts).
Maintenance stipend Stipend of at least £14,198 per year for PhD studentships (exact figures subject to confirmation of start date).
Additional funding offered c.£3K per year for consumables, training, travel and small equipment costs.

Eligibility criteria

Residency UK Research Council eligibility conditions apply
Academic criteria

Applicants should have, or expect to obtain, a minimum of an upper second-class honours degree (2:1) or equivalent in chemistry, pharmacy or a life science discipline.

First-hand experience in organic synthesis, protein chemistry, mammalian cell culture or other relevant areas is highly desirable.

A self-starter with good interpersonal skills and a team player with a drive to succeed, you will be highly motivated relishing the opportunity to take a leading role in establishing this exciting research program.

Applicants must:

  • have a home or work address in the West Wales and the Valleys region at the time of their application for KESS funding and their enrolment for the course of study
  • have a legal right to live and work in the UK for the duration of the KESS2 support, and the right to take up paid work in the WWV region on completion of the scholarship
  • be classified as a ‘home’ or ‘EU’ student.

The Convergence area covers West Wales and the Valleys, and is made up of the following 15 local authorities:

  • Isle of Anglesey
  • Gwynedd
  • Conwy
  • Denbighshire
  • Ceredigion
  • Pembrokeshire
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Swansea
  • Neath Port Talbot
  • Bridgend
  • Rhondda Cynon Taf
  • Merthyr Tydfil
  • Caerphilly
  • Blaenau Gwent;
  • Torfaen.

Consideration is automatic upon application for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy in Biosciences (start dates of October 2017 or January 2018).

Applicants should include a brief covering letter outlining their motivation and experience for the position, as well as their curriculum vitae and the names of at least two referees.

In the funding section of your application, please select 'I will be applying for a scholarship / grant' and specify that you are applying for advertised funding from KESS. In the research proposal section, include the project description contained here.

Please note that this position is for the UK/EU students who have a home of work address in the West Wales and the Valleys Convergence area of Wales at the time of their application to Cardiff University, and at the time they enrol for studies.

We reserve the right to close applications early should sufficient applications be received.

Funding opportunity provided by:

Eligible research programmes

Eligible research areas