The methodology will comprise two main elements examining natural biofouling processes under warming and the performance of antifouling coatings under warming in the UK.
For the first, heated settlement panels (with unheated controls) will be deployed in aquaria, where the differently heated panels will be seeded with specific numbers and species of larvae (e.g. Aldred and Clare, 2008). Settlement and adhesion of model fouling species, e.g. Balanus improvisus (Kommeren et al. 2019) and Ulva linza (Beyer et al. 2020), would then be examined in relation to biofilm community structure. Success rates will be evaluated under the different temperatures using high resolution photography, followed by examining of the chemical ecology of the biofilms and encrusting species contacts using a range of technologies, including transcriptomics, proteomics and mass spectrometry, high resolution microscopy such as TPEFM (two photon excited fluorescence microscopy); BCARS (coherent ant-stokes Raman scattering) and single photon CLSM (confocal laser-scanning microscopy) (e.g. Gohad et al. 2014).
For the second part, discussions will be held with a major anti-fouling paint manufacturer (a previous collaborator with the Clare lab) and the heated panels treated with different coatings and then deployed in the Hartlepool Marina (Benschop et al. 2018) to examine the effectiveness of these coatings in a warmer environment (e.g. Patterson et al. 2017). Colonisation rates will be studied using high-resolution photography and the biofilm analysed using some or all of the techniques described above, depending on how colonisation rates are affected.
No fieldwork beyond work at the Hartlepool Marina is envisaged.
The student will be based at BAS with significant time spent at Newcastle.