Masters and bachelor projects

Master project: Drift of Greenland macroalgae with ocean currents: how far, how fast, how much?

Macroalgal forests grow on rocky shores but export part of their production some of which reach oceanic carbon sinks and contribute to carbon sequestration of the ocean. The exported production can be in the form of e.g. entire individuals detached during storms, gradual sloughing of old material and, for some species, annual casting of the previous years blade. Several species, particularly of large brown macroalgae such as kelps and Fucus, are boyant, allowing their transportation with ocean currents. The proposed project will explore the export of macroalgae along Greenlands coast based on GPS-tracking of material in combination with particle tracking models. Are you interested in joining, then contact us. 

Supervisors: Daniel Frazier CarlsonDorte Krause-Jensen

Bachelor/Master project: Trends in polar marine vegetation

In response to ocean warming, the distribution of marine biota expands towards the poles and at given site, warming (and associated changes in e.g. sea ice cover and light levels) may also affect growth rates, abundance and distribution patterns. However, recent compilations of such changes do not include arctic marine vegetation for which data have been largely lacking. Lately, however, information is starting to appear for both Arctic and Antarctic regions. The current project will scan and analyse the existing literature in the field and, on that basis, quantify foot prints of climate change on the polar marine vegetation. The project involves international collaboration and can be scaled to fit a bachelor – or a master project. The project is ready for take off!

Supervisor: Dorte Krause-Jensen

Can oil-eating microbes clean up spills in the Arctic?

Conducting an experimental oil spill in Greenland to investigate the environmental impacts.
Sampling sea ice to investigate oil-eating microbes

The Arctic is high on the political and economic agenda because the retreating sea ice will allow trans-Arctic shipping and exploitation of oil reserves in the near future. These new developments will inevitably lead to oil spills, which concern us because they will have a disastrous impact on the pristine Arctic environment.

This project aims to investigate the role of oil-degrading bacteria to clean-up oil spills and the effects of oil on phytoplankton and visa-versa. We conduct fieldwork and experiments with oil in seawater in Greenland and use a combination of high-throughput sequencing (molecular biology) and confocal laser scanning microscopy to investigate the bacteria and phytoplankton community.

For more information:

Leendert Vergeynst: Leendert.vergeynst@bios.au.dk.

Speciale projekt: Opdræt af kammuslinger i Grønland

Behovet for bæredygtigt opdrættede skaldyr og fisk er globalt stigende. Dette projekt handler om potentialet for at opdrætte kammuslinger i Vestgrønland. Projektet udføres i samarbejde med Royal Greenland. Kammuslinger udsættes og opdrættes i net i nærheden af en etableret akvakultur.

Det overordnede formål med projektet er: a) at undersøge vækstpotentialet for kammuslinger som dyrkes sammen med fiskeopdræt og b) at undersøge de økologiske og fysiologiske fordele og ulemper ved dyrkning af fisk og skaldyr i samme akvakultursystem. Der er altså rig mulighed for at lave forskellige projekter og selv være med til at formulere relevante problemstillinger.

Projektet indeholder 2-3 feltkampagner til Grønland i 2018 samt en laboratoriedel. Projektet kan gennemføres af en studerende eller som et samarbejde mellem to studerende (optimalt). Alt efter ønske er det muligt at få kontorplads på Aarhus Universitet eller på Grønlands Naturinstitut i Nuuk.

For mere information:

Jakob Thyrring (post doc ved Arktisk Forskningscenter, thyrring@bios.au.dk)

Søren Rysgaard (Professor ved Arktisk Forskningscenter, rysgaard@bios.au.dk)

Varme stress i den arktiske kystzone

Den globale opvarmning sker hurtigst i Arktis, hvor den øgede temperatur betyder afsmeltning af gletchere og havis. Begge dele producere smeltevand, som især i Grønlandske fjorde har betydet at saliniteten falder. Samtidigt har et netop publiceret studie påvist at blåmuslinger i tidevandszonen i Grønland udsættes for temperaturer over 25°C. Formålet med dette speciale projekt er: a) at undersøge om muslinger i Grønland producere heat shock proteiner (HSP) om sommeren og b) om ekspressionen af HSP forstærkes ved lave saliniteter.

Projektet indeholder 1-2 feltkampagner til Grønland i 2018 samt en laboratoriedel og kan gennemføres af en studerende eller som et samarbejde mellem to studerende (optimalt).

For mere information:

Mikael Sejr (Seniorforsker Arktisk Forskningscenter, mse@bios.au.dk)

Jakob Thyrring (post doc Arktisk Forskningscenter, thyrring@bios.au.dk)

Jesper Givskov Sørensen (lektor Genetik, Økologi og Evolution, jesper.soerensen@bios.au.dk)

Bachelor projekt: Høst af vild tang: økosystemeffekter, mulighed for bæredygtige høst- og forvaltningsmetoder? (Litteraturstudium)

Grønlands kystlinie udgør 12% af verdens kystlinie og huser vidtudbredte tangskove. Hidtil er skovene stort set ikke blevet udnytte kommercielt, men efterspørgslen på tang til føde, foder og andre formål stiger, og Royal Greenland er interesseret i at kende mulighederne for bæredygtig udnyttelse af naturlige bestande. I Norge, Island, Canada mm. har man gennem lang tid udnyttet tang fra både tidevandszonen og fra de egentlige tangskove, og der er erfaringer med økosystemeffekter og bæredygtig udnyttelse. Projektet handler om at syntetisere eksisterende viden og på den baggrund vurdere muligheden for bæredygtig brug af Grønlandske tangskove.

 Vejleder: Dorte Krause-Jensen

Master project: Potential area distribution of kelp forests in Greenland

Kelp forests are key habitats along rocky shorelines supplying a highly productive habitat and nursery ground for a wide diversity of fishes and invertebrates while also playing important roles in carbon- and nutrient cycling. Greenlands coastline is 44000 km long and represents 12% of the global coastline and has a vast distribution of kelp forest, the area of which is, however, unknown. This project aims to assess the potential area cover of Greenland kelp forests in selected case study areas. The assessment will rely on satellite-based information on seaice cover and light on the seafloor, existing measurements of light and turbidity, information on bathymetry, and knowledge on light requirements of kelps.  

The project demands an interest in GIS, statistics and programming like R.

Supervisors: Daniel Frazier Carlson, Dorte Krause-Jensen & Mikael Kristian Sejr.

Master project: Area distribution of eelgrass in Greenland

Eelgrass is a foundation species supplying a highly productive habitat and nursery ground for a wide diversity of fishes and invertebrates while also playing important roles in carbon- and nutrient cycling. While the Greenland coastline is predominantly rocky, some inner fjord branches offer sheltered conditions with soft substratum and relatively warmer waters than along the main shores where eelgrass form meadows. However, the extent of this habitat in Greenland is unknown. The aim is map and quantify the area distribution of eelgrass in the Godthåbsfjord-system, Greenland, and potentially also at larger scale along the Greenland coast. The areas will be delineated based on aerial photos (e.g. by drone) and satellite data, and guided by information on seafloor characteristics, coastal morphology, water temperature, ice and light conditions. The resulting maps will be validated based on existing ground truth information (underwater videos from a number of sites).

The project demands an interest in GIS, statistics and programming like R.

Supervisors: Daniel Frazier Carlson and Dorte Krause-Jensen

Masters/Doctoral project: Remediation techniques for oil spills

We are seeking a highly motivated Masters or Doctoral candidate with strong academic experience in engineering and/or environmental engineering and/or organic chemistry to test and develop techniques for remediation of oil spills (crude oils, fuel oils) in cold waters where sea ice may be present.

The successful candidate for this position will be working with the oil-in-sea ice team at CEOS, to contribute to the development of techniques and prototypes of devices that would be suitable for cleaning up marine oil spills in the Arctic.

Candidates will contribute to presentations for the industrial partners, participate in the development of laboratory techniques to measure effectiveness of clean-up procedures tested, participate in fieldwork campaigns in the Arctic, and author peer-reviewed publications.

Read the full advertisement.

More information: Monika Pućko  

Masters/Doctoral project: Arctic Marine Cryospheric Chemistry

Student opportunity in Arctic marine cryospheric chemistry

We are seeking highly motivated graduate students (PhD or MSc) with exceptional academic standing to examine freezing-temperature chemical and biogeochemical processes of contaminants and carbon across the Arctic sea ice environment.

The research will involve both laboratory and field work, including mesocosm-scale studies at the internationally unique Sea-ice Environmental Research Facility and the soon-to-be operational Churchill Marine Observatory, and research cruises aboard the Canadian Research Icebreaker CCGS Amundsen.

Applicants should have a strong background in the areas of environmental chemistry, physical chemistry,analytical chemistry, (bio)geochemistry, or chemical oceanography. Special consideration will be given to those candidates with experience in instrumental analytical techniques, modelling and/or field studies inthe Arctic and with sea ice.

The successful candidates will be working at the Centre for Earth Observation Science (CEOS) of the University of Manitoba. CEOS is a founding member of the national ArcticNet program and the international Arctic Science Partnership (ASP).

The position is available immediately.

More information Feiyue Wang

Repeatability of migration patterns in a pelagic seabird

Masters project in biology

Until recently, seabird movements and distribution outside the breeding season were very poorly known due to logistical limitations, and our understanding of how birds navigate in and exploit an apparently featureless, but in fact very patchy, environment was thus very limited. For instance, for most species there is essentially no information on whether individual birds move at random over the ocean or return to areas they already know are favourable in terms of food availability. Recent technological advances have allowed the collection of highly detailed data on bird location over several years. In this project, we will use data from light loggers (geolocators) deployed on breeding kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) in a large number of colonies throughout the North Atlantic to investigate whether individuals tend to use the same areas and migration routes from year to year.

This is primarily a desk study involving considerable data analysis, based on data already collected.

More information: Morten Frederiksen

Migration and non-breeding distribution of Greenland kittiwakes

Bachelor/Masters project in biology

The kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) is a widespread colonial seabird, breeding throughout the North Atlantic. Until recently, seabird movements and distribution outside the breeding season were very poorly known, but recent technological advances have allowed the collection of highly detailed data. In this project, we will use data from light loggers (geolocators) deployed on breeding kittiwakes in two colonies in Greenland to explore and describe the non-breeding distribution, including the extent and timing of migration.

This is primarily a desk study involving considerable data analysis, based on data already collected.

More information: Morten Frederiksen

Do your master's study in Greenland

Greenland Institute of Natural Resources (GINR) offers the opportunity to carry out master projects in Greenland.  GINR has a long history of collaboration with researchers from Danish and international universities, and students will be assigned supervisors from both GINR and their home university.

Contact: Thomas Juul-Pedersen