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PhD position available

To: "" <>
Subject: PhD position available
From: Julien <>
Date: Tue, 14 May 2019 15:10:44 +0000

Dear all,

I would like to let you know about a PhD position available at LEMAR (Brest, France), in collaboration with WHOI. In short, the topics is on the noise impact on marine invertebrates. More details can be found below



Marine ecosystems are undergoing fast and drastic changes. Of interest here is the potential impact of anthropic activities (marine traffic, fisheries, oil and gas exploration, harbor construction, …) on the oceanic soundscape. Most of these anthropic sounds have been studies and characterized, and their basic impacts on organisms are studied. In particular, it has been shown that low-frequency sounds have an impact on marine invertebrates: early larva metamorphosis and stress for juveniles and adults. However, all these studies suffer from a lack of knowledge on the biological mechanisms that are important for sound emission/reception by the organism. This clearly impede our understanding of the potential impact of soundscape modification on benthic fauna.

The proposed PhD thesis will focus on the impact of sounds, produced in vitro and in situ at different frequencies, on physiology and ecology of several biologic models that are representative of the marine invertebrate macro-fauna (mollusks, arthropod, ascidians). The introduction of anthropic acoustic energy in marine ecosystems is a new pressure, that adds to existing ones. The anthropophony (all the sounds generated by human activities) includes various sounds and noises associated to marine traffic, oil platforms, harbor construction, and renewable energy. As an example pile driving, which is required before any underwater construction (harbor, wind turbine, …), generates noise level that are sometimes above 200 dB peak-peak re 1 μPa.

There are numerous scientific studies on the impact of anthropic noise on fishes and marine mammals. However, there is a clear lack of knowledge for marine invertebrate. Nonetheless, our recent study on blue mussel demonstrates that the larva fixation is affected by ship noise [Jolivet et al, 2016]. We also showed that lobsters [Jezequel et al 2018] and spiny lobsters [Jezequel et al 2019] produce low-frequency sounds which may be used for communication, so that masking by anthropic sources may be an issue. In this context, because marine renewable energy are growing fast, because of the lack of knowledge on the impact of sound on benthic ecosystems, and because many marine invertebrates have a strong economical values for fisheries, the proposed PhD thesis will study the influence of pile driving on larval biology and on adult ethology. The project will notably focus on the great scallop Pecten Maximus.

As a first step, the method must be developed in vitro and in situ (Iroise Sea): sound emission, individual sensors, diving, models, … As a second step, organisms will be studies in pristine environments, such as the Arctic and the North East of Greenland (Hyas sp., Chlamys islandica, Mya truncata).The objective is to predict the future impact of sound generated by new marine traffic in the Arctic, which will increase because of ice melt due to global warming.

The PhD thesis will take place at BeBEST/LEMAR (Brest, France), in collaboration with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI, USA). It will be supervised by Laurent Chauvaud (m("","Laurent.Chauvaud");">) and Julien Bonnel (m("","jbonnel");">). Last but not least, the project will be done in collaboration with La Carène (Brest contemporary music hall). It will consider the link between Art and Science, and the PhD student will participate to the artist-in-residence program that we propose during our polar missions.

To apply, prepare a single pdf document (called LastName_FirstName.pdf) that contains:

* your CV
* a cover letter

* your MSc grades

Submit the document here: and send a copy by email to the PhD supervisors (see above).


Jézéquel, Y., Bonnel, J., Coston-Guarini, J., Guarini, J. M., & Chauvaud, L. (2018). Sound characterization of the European lobster Homarus gammarus in tanks. Aquatic Biology, 27, 13-23

Jézéquel, Y., Bonnel, J., Coston-Guarini, J., & Chauvaud, L. (2019). Revisiting the bioacoustics of European spiny lobsters Palinurus elephas: comparison of antennal rasps in tanks and in situ. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 615, 143-157

Jolivet, A., Tremblay, R., Olivier, F., Gervaise, C., Sonier, R., Genard, B., & Chauvaud, L. (2016). Validation of trophic and anthropic underwater noise as settlement trigger in blue mussels. Scientific reports, 6, 33829.

Julien Bonnel
Associate Scientist
Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Department
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
phone: +1 508 289 3059
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