Student Perspective | Petros Dimitriou | PhD

Being a Commonwealth student means a lot to me as through the Commonwealth’s Scholarship support, I get to continue pursuing my educational dreams
13th December 2021
Commonwealth Scholar Petros Dimitriou, who previously completed the MSc Marine Science and Climate Change, is now researching Patella ferruginea for his PhD.

What does being a Commonwealth student mean to you?

Being a Commonwealth student means a lot to me as through the Commonwealth’s Scholarship support, I get to continue pursuing my educational dreams.

Why did you choose Gibraltar?

I chose to continue my education in Gibraltar as I have already completed my MSc in Marine Science and Climate Change at the University of Gibraltar and I have since been working for the Gibraltar Health Authority.

What is special about doing your PhD here?

Doing my PhD in Gibraltar is ideal, as my project is focused on Patella ferruginea, the ribbed Mediterranean limpet and Gibraltar is one of the few places around the Mediterranean that has a relatively big population of P.ferruginea.

What would you say to someone else who might be considering a PhD with us?

The University of Gibraltar is a unique place to continue your educational career, even though the University has just celebrated their 6th anniversary the number of opportunities it offers and the professionalism of everyone involved with the University is unmatched.

Describe your PhD project

My PhD Project is focused on the Ribbed Mediterranean Limpet, Patella ferruginea. During my MSc at the University of Gibraltar I developed a methodology where by using photographic material and morphometric analysis I could identify the two different morphotypes of P. ferruginea. Within my PhD I will try to expand on the methodology and discover whether the morphotypes of these species are being directly affected by their environment and how.

What type of research does it involve and what skills will you be learning?

My PhD involves both desk and field based research. In the field I will have to measure individuals of the species, take photographs, GPS coordinated and information on their environmental surroundings. The desk based research will focus on the literature research of the PhD but also on the analysis of all the data collected.
This PhD will give me the opportunity to further develop skills I acquired during its predecessor project like using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Morphometric Analysis Tools.

Why should the public know about this topic?

The public should be informed about Patella ferruginea as it is the most endangered marine mollusc in the Western Mediterranean. This species has been around since the Pleistocene and their populations have been in such decline it is only found in a few locations around the Mediterranean such us Gibraltar, Tuscany , Sardinia (Italy), Ceuta (Spain). The more the public is informed about this species I believe the more able will the public be to recognize it and not disturb it not only to help it survive but also because its illegal. In Gibraltar you can get fined up to £10000 for killing/disturbing even a single individual.

What will be the wider impact of your research?

The wider impact of my research would be the development of a non-intrusive method of analysis for Patella ferruginea, which will help with the conservation of the species, and the further understanding on how the environment effects the two different morphotypes of the species. This methodology could potentially be adapted for surveying other marine species as well.
  • PhD

    PhD by Research

    Our PhD by research programme is based on independent study, guided by your assigned supervisors and support system. It typically takes a minimum of three years to complete full-time, or a minimum of five years when studied part-time.[...]

    FT 3 to 5 Years/ PT 4 to 8 Years

    No Placement option

    Full/Part Time

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