Radiation effects in Daphnia pulex

Understanding the relative importance of genetic and epigenetic factors in determining radiation-induced damage in Daphnia pulex

The PhD project aims to further our understanding of the impacts of long-term radiation exposure on Daphnia Pulex in the natural environment, and determine whether laboratory exposures can be used to predict these impacts. Following the 2011 accident at Fukushima: we urgently need new evidence to inform ongoing UK and international (International Atomic Energy Agency and International Commission on Radiation Protection) initiatives in this area. The student will gain experience of conducting irradiation experiments under controlled conditions and with undertaking fieldwork in contaminated environments such as the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

Jess will receive training on measuring radionuclides in terrestrial environments specifically in soils and Daphnia pulexto ISO17015 accredited protocols. The selected student will be trained in conducting measures of DNA methylation, gene expression and data analysis and, will be working on biological effects, specifically on biomarker and physiological assays for determining the level of impact of the radiation. This research will contribute greatly to our understanding of the genetic and epigenetic factors which control the impact of radiation and other stressors on organisms. Furthermore this will advance our knowledge of the role that epigenetic effect may play in adaptation to local environmental