The Ocean Observatory of Madeira (OOM) was created in 2014 as an autonomous research unit hosted by Agência Regional para o Desenvolvimento da Investigação, Tecnologia e Inovação (ARDITI) with the main goal of promoting an Excellence Centre, catalysing opportunities at regional, national and international level, with a multidisciplinary team dedicated to scientific research, innovation, education and public outreach within Marine Sciences and Technologies. OOM profits greatly from human and institutional resources existing within the Autonomous Region of Madeira, with emphasis on higher education, research institutions, companies and governmental agencies with relevant activities and competences in marine areas.
One of the characteristics which give Madeira a comparative advantage in deep-sea research is the steep slopes around the islands and the presence of depths exceeding 1000 m sometimes less than a mile away from the coastline. These orographic characteristics allied to the oldest deep-sea commercial fishery (for the black scabbard fish) have fostered a series of biodiversity and taxonomic studies over the years and led to the existence of the most important Portuguese natural history collection and a worldwide known Natural History Museum, which is a landmark at Macaronesian level.
Over the last 20 years a large sampling effort has been made on the slope of the islands of the archipelago and adjacent seamounts and although papers on taxonomy and biodiversity records have been published, most of the ecological data gathered remains untreated.
Considering that Climate Change is taking place and its influence on deep-sea communities remains unclear and object of scientific debate, the existence of the above mentioned historical data assumes particular relevance for cutting-edge science research on this field.
Other anthropogenic influences on the deep-sea, apart from fisheries, remain poorly studied in the area of Madeira, as it is the case of marine litter. Its presence on the slope floor and in the water column remains unassessed, although evidence of man-made debris is unquestionable due to its presence in several deep-sea fish stomach contents.
Moreover, under the obligations of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) Madeira has to fulfil information gaps on several descriptors, such as Biodiversity (D1), Seafloor Integrity (D6) and Marine Litter (D10), requiring updated monitoring programmes and innovative research.
In the scope of the project OOM (M1420-01-0145-FEDER-000001- Observatório Oceânico da Madeira), OOM-ARDITI is looking for an independent PhD researcher in the field of Marine Biology or related subject with knowledge on deep-sea ecology and biodiversity, underwater sampling with different methodologies, and the development and implementation of a deep-sea biodiversity research and monitoring program.
The successful candidate will join an interdisciplinary team, and will take part in the sampling design, sampling operations, processing and analysing biological data, namely ichthyofauna and invertebrates mainly from the Madeira Archipelago.
The candidate will have the following specific responsibilities:
- Analyses of data from deep-sea fauna on Madeira slope in order to characterize the marine biodiversity patterns, including when available terrain variables (water column and seafloor);
- Contribution to the planning, development and implementation of a sampling programme directed to the Madeira island slope habitats and participate on future oceanographic cruises;
- Processing fauna samples (past and future ones), taxonomical identification, and when available video and imagery annotation;
- Characterize the artificial items present in the fauna (e.g. stomach content analyses) and litter on the seafloor and analyse data on the light of the potential anthropogenic impacts;
- Support the overall management of the project, including writing reports.
- Publication of the results.
The ideal candidate will have a PhD Degree in Marine Biology, with experience in deep-sea ecology, more specifically on margins and island slopes. Candidates shall demonstrate experience in:
- Expertise in Deep-sea Marine biodiversity;
- Knowledge on deep-sea sampling methods;
- Experience on oceanographic cruises using deep-sea collecting gear;
- Experience sampling different habitats, sieving and preservation of samples;
- Experience on Marine Biodiversity data research;
- Prior experience in marine biodiversity databases;
- Prior experience coordinating field work
- Strong communication and collaboration skills.
- Demonstrate strong ability to work independently in a self-directed environment.
Scientific guidance and workplace
- Perform literature review and develop a sampling design to evaluate the marine biodiversity on deep-sea habitats;
- Participate in field sampling campaigns;
- Analyse and validate the past and future obtained data;
- Write technical reports and publish scientific papers in top scientific magazines using the data obtained with the project.
The work will be coordinated by Manuel Biscoito and João Canning-Clode
Workplace will be at the Marine Biology Station of Funchal (EBMF), Madeira Island
1 year, renewable up to 3 years.
ARDITI research fellowship (BI – Doutor) monthly maintenance stipend and regulations are determined by ‘FCT-Fundação para a Ciência Tecnologia’ (http://www.fct.pt/apoios/bolsas/valores.phtml.en).
The following evaluation criteria will be applied:
FS = QA + EP
FS – Final Score
QA – Qualifications
EP – Experience
5 points – PhD in Marine Biology (or related field of study);
3 points - Expertise in Deep-sea Marine biodiversity;
3 points – Experience on oceanographic cruises using deep-sea collecting gear;
3 points -Experience sampling different habitats, sieving and preservation of samples;
2 points - Knowledge on deep-sea sampling methods;
1 point - Experience on Marine Biodiversity data research;
1 point - Prior experience in marine biodiversity databases,.
1 point - Prior experience coordinating field work
Dr. Ana Colaço (IMAR-DOP)
Dr. João Canning-Clode (MARE)
Dr. Manuel Biscoito (MMF/EBMF)
-Motivation Letter (emphasizing the candidate’s adequacy to each evaluation criteria)
-PhD certificate (and/or conclusion confirmation letter + digital copy of the thesis)
-2 reference letters
Anouncement of the results
ARDITI (http://www.arditi.pt). Via e-mail.
Application submission and deadline