Ageing the unageable: investigating novel methods of ageing exploited crabs and lobsters (TAYLOR_U16FDTP) Ageing the unageable: investigating novel methods of ageing exploited crabs and lobsters (TAYLOR_U16FDTP)

Primary Supervisor: Dr Martin Taylor (

Project Description

Sustainable exploitation of fish and shellfish stocks requires an understanding of growth rates. Most fish and molluscs can be aged by counting growth rings laid down in hard calcified structures. In contrast, most crustaceans cannot be aged accurately as they periodically lose and replace most calcified structures through molting. This project will investigate a range of novel methods to age commercially important crustacean species with an aim of developing biological age assays. In particular, the potential of a variety of DNA based and epigenetic markers will be investigated using both laboratory reared and aquaculture and wild sourced samples. This project is a collaboration between Dr Martin Taylor and Professor David Richardson at the University of East Anglia, bringing together expertise in fisheries genetics and ageing and senescence. This project will develop cutting edge molecular methods but also has high potential for real-world impact on the interface between science, management and policy. Training will be provided in advanced molecular techniques, bioinformatics and science communication.

Required criteria:

The ideal candidate will have a good Honours or Master’s degree in a relevant subject area (e.g. biological sciences / genetics) and have a strong interest in fisheries biology or molecular ageing. Some experience with molecular laboratory techniques such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and strong IT skills with bioinformatics experience are desirable, although training will be provided.

For scientific enquiries please contact: Dr Martin Taylor (

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Applicants shortlisted for the Second Round of Selection (deadline for applications 26th February 2016) will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition on either the 16th or 17th March 2016.

The Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4 year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three month professional internship (PIPS) during their study. The internship offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

Start date: October 2016
Programme: PhD
Mode of Study: Full Time
Entry Requirements: Acceptable First Degree: Minimum Entry Standard: 2:1

For further information and to apply, please visit our website: