Characterizing mantle function to gain insights into the biological basis of modified shell formation

Master Thesis subject (30 ECTS)
Marine invertebrates, such as molluscs have been highlighted as being particularly at risk under future climate change scenarios due to the acidification and warming of the World’s oceans. It is predicted that their heavily calcified shells will become thinner as sea water becomes more acidic, not only changing their role as a CO2 sink but also profoundly impacting the ecological balance and biodiversity. A corollary of climate change will be alterations in whole animal homeostasis and physiology with a likely reduction in fitness and associated increase in disease susceptibility. Surprisingly little is known about how marine animals regulate calcium to produce a shell and how these processes might be affected when the environmental conditions change. In this project you will run an experiment aimed at modifying shell formation and study mantle function and shell formation. Techniques: experiments with bivalves in aquarium; measurement of physiological and morphological parameters; lab based analysis (molecular and morphological techniques). A project integrated within the objectives of the CACHE (CAlcium in a CHanging Environment) Marie Curie initial training network.
Versatile, motivated and imaginative. Good grounding in biology (whole animal/molecular/cellular)
Number of students: 
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contact person first name: 
DM Power
Other people involved: 
Nadège Allan
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Reference Number: RP-36202