Parasite detection and quantification in a variety of marine species

Parasites represent up to 50% of all living organisms. They have the ability to alter host behaviour, as well as acting as ecosystem engineers. However they are typically the unseen biodiversity in the environment and more work is still required in order to better understand the diversity and abundance of parasites globally. As part of this professional practice opportunity students will work on identifying parasites found in species from a variety of marine habitats around Ireland. The work will involve sampling in the field, as well as dissections in order to collect tissue samples, identify the infection status of the organisms, and record the parasites infecting them. The work will involve identification of macroparasites mainly using a stereoscope, and tissue samples will be prepared for histological analyses to identify microparasites, so interested students should enjoy general microscopy. It is anticipated that a database for these parasite species will be further developed during the placement period and this work will contribute to several ongoing European and International research projects.

Language requirements: 
Working use of English.
Specific competences required : 
There are no specific requirements. However the following will be beneficial: A desire to carry out both field work and laboratory work; Careful dissection techniques; Attentive microscopy work; Accuracy in record keeping; Experimental design skills; Data analysis skills.
Safety issues: 
Students will complete a risk assessment upon arrival and this will be approved by their supervisor before work can commence. Students will work with low risk chemicals only (e.g. ethanol) and will review the relevant Material Safety Data Sheets prior to exposure.
Accommodation possibilities : 
Please contact the International Student Office at GMIT, check, contact previous EMBC+ and IMBRSea students, or send me a description of your requirements for circulation within the Marine and Freshwater Research Centre at GMIT. Subsistence costs for a student in Galway are estimated to be €400-800 per month, with accommodation costing an additional €300-600 per month.
Additional costs to be covered by the student: