Maeve McGovern » Members
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PhD project title:
Land-Ocean Interactions: Effects of terrestrial inputs on coastal food-web structure and contaminant trophodynamics in an Arctic fjord system.
PhD project description:
Increased terrestrial run-off in Arctic regions is one major impact of climate change. As temperatures and precipitation increase and permafrost and glaciers melt, coastal areas are experiencing increased levels of riverine inputs. These inputs bring water, sediments, nutrients, organic matter and contaminants across the land-ocean interface with a range of implications for coastal contamination and food-web ecology. As a PhD student at NIVA, I hope to define both the direct and indirect impacts of these terrestrial inputs on coastal food-web structure and contamination.
My PhD project will investigate the influence of terrestrial inputs on the flow of energy and contaminants in marine foods webs in Isfjord, Svalbard. It is part of a larger effort (the TerrACE project at NIVA) to quantify terrestrial inputs and impacts on the Arctic coastal system. My project has three main aims. Firstly, we will characterize the physicochemical conditions and response to terrestrial inputs along freshwater to marine gradients in Billefjord, Tempelfjord and Adventfjord. Secondly, we will distinguish between the utilization of terrestrial vs. marine energy sources along these gradients. Thirdly, we will determine how terrestrial inputs can directly and indirectly affect contaminant dynamics (Hg and PCBs) through effects on food sources, trophic pathways and nutritional quality of prey items.
Start date: Sep 2017
End date: Aug 2021