Genetic and epigenetic changes in ballast water biota

Master Thesis subject (30 ECTS)
Ballast water is one of the main transport vectors of marine invasive species. In this Master Thesis, the student will analyze biotic samples obtained from ballast water and analyze their genetic and epigenetic variation. Changes between samples collected at the beginning and the end of the travel will be identified employing state of the art molecular techniques. The results will help to understand the mechanisms that confer invasiveness capacity to a species during maritime travels. The laboratory has experience in ballast water analysis and has published several articles in the field (see examples below). Zaiko A, Martinez JL, Ardura A, Clusa L, Borrell YJ, Samuiloviene A, Roca A, Garcia-Vazquez E. Detecting nuisance species using NGST: methodology shortcomings and possible application in ballast water monitoring. Marine Environmental Research 112(PtB): 64-72 (2015) Ardura A, Zaiko A, Martinez JL, Borrell YJ, Garcia-Vazquez E. Environmental DNA evidence of transfer of North Sea molluscs across tropical waters through ballast water. Journal of Molluscan Studies 81: 495-501 (2015) Zaiko A, Martinez JL, Schmidt-Petersen J, Ribicic D, Samuiloviene A, Garcia-Vazquez E. Metabarcoding approach for the ballast water surveillance - an advantageous solution or an awkward challenge? Marine Pollution Bulletin 92: 25-34 (2015)
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Other people involved: 
Dr. Alba Ardura, Dr. Anastasija Zaiko,
Reference Number: RP-47451