Montage of students working in the lab and field

Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) works with a number of University partners to train tomorrow’s leaders in Environmental Science.  These collaborations, known as Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs), offer postgraduate studentships and training across the full range of multidisciplinary environments, helping to enrich the student experience.

Each DTP will create a strong and active community of students that are able - and encouraged - to integrate, work, and learn together. Students will receive in-depth, advanced research training, as well as training in the professional and transferable skills essential in today's economy.
Saskia Ruhl (PhD student) filtering seawater onboard the Plymouth Quest research vessel

PML is a multidisciplinary, internationally renowned, strategic marine research centre. For 2016 we have a number of prestigious and exciting opportunities for outstanding students wishing to conduct PhD projects in our five areas of research excellence: Earth observation and remote sensing; biogeochemical cycling; biodiversity and molecular science; marine ecosystem modelling; and socioeconomics of ecosystem goods and services.

These PhD opportunities are developed with partners from 3 DTPs. Further details on each partnership can be found here:

  • GW4+ (with the Universities of Bristol, Bath, Exeter and Cardiff)
  • Spitfire (with the University of Southampton)
  • EnvEast (with the Universities of East Anglia, Kent and Essex)

For information on the specific projects offered by PML please see the information below. Note that the application process and deadlines differ between DTPs.  

Fluorometry for Rapid Eutrophication Status and Cyanobacteria Assessment (FRESCA)

Your PhD research will include laboratory and field experiments and numerical simulations to support the interpretation of the fluorescence signals from mixed phytoplankton communities. You will work with bio-optics experts at the Plymouth Marine laboratory, where you will be based. You will join field campaigns in the UK and abroad with the LOCHS group of the University of Stirling, where you will also be registered for your PhD studies. This work will feed into the design of prototype sensors developed by industrial partner Chelsea Technologies Group. You will test these prototypes and be involved in the fine-tuning of the design. You will spend a period of three months working alongside the instrument developers and scientists of CTG.

Supervision: Stefan Simis (PML), Kevin Oxborough (Chelsea Technologies Group), Peter Hunter (University of Stirling), Gavin Tilstone (PML), Andrew Tyler (University of Stirling).

Read more about this opportunity

How to apply

Send a cover letter and CV to

Closing date for applications: 28th September 2017


About PML

With its base in the South West of England, PML plays a key role on the international stage through its science projects, strategic positions on committees and hosted offices, such as the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans. With its 155 staff, 70 students and visitors, PML produced over 700 science publications over the last 5 years and has an annual budget of around £10 million. Located near the Plymouth seafront, PML has easy access to the spectacular South West, breath-taking Dartmoor National Park and recreational amenities (please click here for more information).

As a student based at PML, you will benefit from being based in a world class research institute, with access to specialist staff, the latest computer, networking and communications technology, modern laboratory instrumentation, the National Marine Biological Library (NMBL) and two modern inshore research vessels. In addition, PML runs a lively Sports & Social Club, providing a variety of free and subsidised facilities and activities.

Individuals who are interested in a PML studentship are encouraged to contact the PML Lead Supervisor directly for more information.