top of page
Launching Seahorse.jpg

Marine-based research opportunities

Please see below for a list of our marine-based research opportunities in need of project leads, students, volunteers, specialists and professionals. Each project has a 'contact lead' identified at the end of the description. This person and their organization should be your first port of call and will help you write the application to the Jersey Community Foundation for the required funding. Please note, projects listed as (FULLY SUBSCRIBED) are no longer open for applications.

More Information

  • Microplastics in the marine environment is an issue of concern on a global scale and Jersey is keen to gain a greater understanding of the issue locally. Marine Resources are looking for an undergrad or masters student to run a project that will consider the distribution, concentration and composition of microplastics in the island’s coastal and marine environment. The study follows a 2018 & 2019 dissertations that looked at beach samples and open water areas. The project would consist of sampling for, and identifying, polymer types and sizes using standard methodologies with the objective of building on current data set. There is also the possibility of looking for the presence of microplastics within the marine food chain using tissue samples from various marine species. Additionally, the project could consider the sources of microplastics by looking at MCS beach clean historic data set. There is also the possibility to examine samples from seabed cores taken in 2010 that may be able to provide data from past decades. A full summary of the proposed study is available on request.

    For more information on the project and to apply, please contact Francis Binney and Sam Blampied:

  • Marine Resources are looking for an undergraduate or masters student to continue research on Jersey's intertidal seagrass beds. This project has been successfully run since 2013 and is ideal for under and postgraduate students in search of field and laboratory work with large datasets. Originally based on the French Water Framework Directive monitoring methodology, the project monitors the health of three of Jersey’s intertidal seagrass beds via a combination of fieldwork (using quadrats and sediment cores) and laboratory and computer-based analysis. Results from this project have been impressive and the first five years’ monitoring are in the process of being published. The field and lab work are flexible and can be fitted around summer work.

    For more information on the project and to apply, please contact Sam Blampied:

  • Marine Resources are looking for an undergraduate or masters student to collaborate on proposed seagrass research which aims to build on previous surveys relating to infauna species diversity and carbon storage within seagrass beds of known age. There are currently plans to undertake grab sampling of these seagrass beds and there is scope to expand this research to include CHN (Carbon, Hydrogen and Nitrogen) analysis to improve carbon estimate and CNP (Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorus) analysis to obtain health metrics of the seagrass beds. The student would assist in taking the grab samples and processing them in the lab with another MSc student. Samples for CHN and CNP analysis will be sent away to a UK lab. The student would be responsible for analysing the resulting dataset.

    For more information on the project and to apply, please contact Sam Blampied:

  • The western English Channel is currently experiencing changes in its crab population, particularly for brown / edible crab (Cancer pagurus). The intertidal zone plays and important part in the lifecycle of some crab species but there is very little data about this part of their lifecycle. Marine Resources are looking for an undergrad or earthwatch student to examine the ecology, population structure, behaviour and dynamics of several species of intertidal crab species (plus lobsters, if desired). Some data is available from a 2014 intertidal crab survey and landing and offshore survey data are available for commercial species. This project would also monitor the expanding intertidal population of Montagues Crabs (Xantho hydrophilus) and how this is interacting with C. pagurus distributions. There would be potential for some experimental work on mid shore rockpools looking at clearing, recolonisation and competition situations. Additionally, in 2016 a detailed assessment was undertaken of the sudden population explosion of Asian Shore Crabs (Hemigrapsus sanguineus) on Jersey’s East coast. First recorded in 2009 the population of H. sanguineus had remained relatively low until 2016 when record numbers were reported. Further study is required to determine if the 2016 population explosion was a one-off event, if the population is now stabilising or if it may continue to grow in the coming years. As part of this project, the local community could be engaged through a citizen science project to survey areas of the shore. It would be down the student to devise a methodology and create an identification leaflet for these three crab species.

    For more information on the project and to apply, please contact Francis Binney:

  • Marine Resources are looking for a masters student to analyse information regarding marine mammals in Jerseys waters. This is a desk-based project that will utilise two large datasets obtained by the MBS/DOE. Since April 2017, 1500+ boat encounters with dolphins, seals and whales have been recorded in Jersey’s territorial waters via a smartphone app. Since March 2017 the Marine Biology Section has had CPOD hydrophones located at various points off Jersey’s coast recording and analysing the clicks made by dolphins passing within a kilometre. Between the 6 CPOD units in use 4000+ encounters have been recorded and analysis of this data set will build on the work of three previous dissertations to understand factors that influence cetacean distributions.

    This analysis will require using specialist software to process the data and then to cross-reference the results against environmental and other data. The objective is to try and understand aspects of the movement and behaviours of local dolphins. The project could also look to utilise the last two years of sightings data where over 1000 records have been made in recent years. This project would be primarily desk-based but there is scope for shore-based fieldwork and also the possibility of working with partner organisations in France and the UK.

    This project is currently fully subscribed. For information on similar projects and to apply, please contact Francis Binney and Sam Blampied:

  • Baited videos are currently being used locally to monitor changes in the relative abundance of mobile marine species inside and outside Marine Protected Areas. Currently, the methodology used is based on that described in the literature. However, there is an opportunity to test different baited video set ups to understand which bait and light types are optimal for different species to improve ongoing monitoring. There would also be an opportunity to test the rigs at night to 1) understand relative abundance of species at night compared to day, 2) understand which baited video set ups are optimal. Ideally this project will be a year in length, with surveys repeated monthly at the same location (St. Catherine's breakwater). However, this could also be a summer project. Each survey will last 3-4 days depending on the number of bait types - further details and survey design to be discussed with interested candidates. Equipment will be provided by the Marine Resources department.

    For information on similar projects and to apply, please contact Francis Binney and Sam Blampied:


Empowering generosity:

The essence of giving back

Discover how your contributions support vital projects and causes, embodying our core values of generosity and impact. Join our journey, where every act of giving seeds a future of collective prosperity and resilience.


Never miss a grant deadline

bottom of page