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Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland


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Impact of climate change on coastal Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA)- University of Stirling

Supervisor: Dr Lynne Falconer

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have warned of unprecedented rates of change over the 21st Century (IPCC, 2022). At the same time, the aquaculture sector is expected to increase production to meet growing demands for healthy and nutritious food (FAO, 2020). Many different aspects of aquaculture will be affected by climate change (Falconer et al., 2022) so there is an urgent need to generate knowledge and develop approaches that can be used to assess potential impacts of climate change on aquaculture. Appropriate adaptation responses to maintain or increase production sustainably can then be identified. Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA), where the waste from fed species such as salmon is used to grow extractive species such as seaweed and shellfish, is considered a novel production method that could have environmental benefits. However, growing multiple species in an integrated system at a coastal cage farm can be complicated (Cutajar et al., 2022a,b). Climate change will bring further challenges for IMTA, with implications for species combinations, trophic connections, and other operational aspects.

The aim of this 3-year PhD, funded by the University of Stirling, is to investigate how climate change could impact IMTA at salmon aquaculture farm sites in the Northeast Atlantic area. The PhD will involve use of aquaculture and environment models, fieldwork and environmental analysis, and data analysis and interpretation. There will be regular engagement with industry and associated stakeholders.

How to apply

Closing date for applications is 24th June 2024.

This 3-year PhD position is funded by the University of Stirling. The expected start date is 1st October 2024.

Applicants should send a CV and a cover letter to

The cover letter should outline why you wish to undertake this PhD, your research interests, and how your experience fits with the proposed project (maximum 1000 words).

More Details here


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