Mr. Patrick Joyce
School of Biological Sciences
Queen’s Marine Laboratory, 12-13 The Strand, Portaferry, BT22 1PF
MRes Marine Biology (Plymouth University, 2014-2015)
BSc (Hons) Marine Biology (University of Portsmouth, 2010-2013)
Interplay of hydrodynamics and invasive alien species around anthropogenic structures in the marine environment
PhD Project Description
Invasive species are of great concern in ecology as they are considered a major driver in biodiversity loss as well as being economic pests. Invasive species occur in both terrestrial and aquatic environments however the spread of invasive species in the aquatic environment occurs more readily with many means of spreading (e.g. Ship hull fouling, ballast water, aquaculture). More recently the development of offshore renewable energy devices may be a vector for the spread of invasive species by acting as stepping stones as well as potentially changing the hydrodynamics of adjacent ecosystems.
Water motion is a key driver in determining the distribution of species in coastal areas and changes to these hydrodynamics may affect important processes within ecosystems. Water motion is crucial to benthic species as it can replenish planktonic food for filter feeders as well as alter energy expenditure of motile organisms. Changes to ecosystem hydrodynamics may alter the success of different species with these environments.
My PhD, started in January 2016, will focus on how changes in hydrodynamics alter biological processes involving both native and non-native species. I will use a range of laboratory and field experiments as well as physical-biological coupled models to assess how changes in water motion may affect the feeding rates of, and predation on, native and non-native species as well as attempting to predict their spread and success.
Prof. Jaimie Dick (School of Biological Sciences)
Dr. Bjoern Elsaesser (Danish Hydraulic Institute)