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ENV East Doctoral Training Partnership


Applications to the EnvEast Doctoral Training Partnership are now closed.

Below you can browse some of the PhD projects we have previously funded; if you would like to be informed when applications open, or if you have any questions about EnvEast and our application process, please email us.

Projects previously funded by EnvEast


Metagenetic approaches to studying marine food webs: support for ecosystem based fisheries management.

Project description

Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management (EBFM) focuses on developing and applying new approaches to fisheries management that minimize the effects of fishing on the ecosystem. One component of the EBFM is a sound knowledge of food webs and predation in marine habitats. However, the visual identification of prey items in fish stomachs is complex and time consuming, and often omits soft bodied, hard to identify species and partially digested specimens. Molecular approaches capable of identifying prey DNA, even after partial digestion, are typically limited to one or several targeted prey items. Advances in sequencing technology now allow potential detection all prey items within a stomach using ‘metabarcoding’ approaches. The DNA from mixed organisms can be amplified and sequenced simultaneously using ‘universal’ primers that amplify either all, or a subset of target organisms allowing identification of the full range of prey in predators stomachs.

In collaboration with the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas), this studentship will develop a suite of methods for studying marine fish diets using next generation sequencing approaches with the aim of improving the understanding of sustainability of marine fisheries.


Dr Richard Davies
Dr Simon Creer
Dr Ewan Hunter
Dr John Pinnegar

  • Start date 1 October 2014