MAPLE – Call for 4 applications: PhD Positions

MAPLE – Marine Plastic Pollution: Environmental Impact and life cycle scenarios

A project in the Interdisciplinary Sustainable Initiatives at NTNU


Call for applications: 4 PhD positions

Application deadline has expired.

MAPLE – Marine Plastic Pollution: Environmental Impact and life cycle scenarios

About the project

About the project

Oceans are very important for humans, but are severely affected by many different human activities. One of the biggest issues for marine ecosystems is the battle against plastic pollution and its effects. Plastic is a very diverse material and can be found floating on the surface, suspended in water columns but also on the seafloor and has the potential to affect very different biological communities at these different locations in the water column.  

If we want to solve the plastic crisis in the oceans, we need to understand how and where plastic is distributing, what impact microbial communities on the degree of degradation and sedimentation of plastic particles have and what alternative options to minimize the use and mismanagement of plastic exist 

MAPLE (Marine Plastic Pollution: Environmental impact and life cycle scenarios) focuses on marine plastic pollution and its environmental impacts in Trondheimsfjord and the outer central coast of Norway. We combine field studies, laboratory studies and computer modelling in an interdisciplinary approach to understand this complex problem. 

MAPLE is a research project between researchers from the Department of Energy and Process Engineering, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Department of Geography and the Department of Biology. 

The Sustainability Development Goals formulated by the United Nations are well-known. Only one of them (SDG 14) is including the impact of plastic pollution specifically, but 12 out of the 17 SDGs are directly or indirectly affected by plastic pollution. Understanding the plastic value chains, plastic distribution in the marine waters, and impacts of plastic on marine ecosystem is crucial for a transition to a sustainable future. 

The project calls for applications for 1-2 PhD positions

  PhD Position in:

Modelling plastic debris transport and accumulation

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

The aim is to develop a numerical model cascade predicting the transport and accumulation of plastic debris along with their transport pathways from source to sink. We will focus on identifying pathways and repositories of marine plastic waste. The numerical modeling is based on the open-source hydrodynamics framework REEF3D.

Application deadline has expired.

  PhD Position in:

Plastics in sediments

Department of Geography

The aim is to map and sample marine plastic debris in Trondheimsfjord and the outer, central coast of Norway. Strong connections to the other 3 positions exist through ground-truthing, assessing the role of microbial communities and determining the sources and types of plastic debris in the study area.

Application deadline has expired.

The project calls for applications for 3-4 PhD positions

  PhD Position in:

Microbial biofilms and degradation processes on microplastic debris

Department of Biology

The aim is to characterize microbial biofilms in relation to plastic type/age and to assess their impact on the degree of plastic degradation by considering environmental conditions, plastic type, and surface characteristics. The position involves both fieldwork in Trondheimsfjorden and the Froan archipelago and laboratory analyses.

Application deadline has expired.

  PhD Position in:

Origin and impacts of plastic products

Department of Energy and Process Engineering

The aim is to develop life cycle impact assessment models for quantifying impacts from plastic entanglement and ingestion to the plastic amounts found in Norway to estimate the impacts of macro- and microplastics on the marine ecosystem. Intervention scenarios will identify the potentials for mitigating plastic pollution in Norway.

Application deadline has expired.