Sweden : 1 PhD student in the research education subject: Microbiology
- 1 PhD student in the research education subject: Microbiology
Microbial communities in nature are diverse and carry out a multitude of processes that drive the major geochemical cycles. Protein encoding genes are increasingly being used as molecular markers for functional groups involved in these processes since a focus on traits directly addresses microbial properties important to ecosystem function. Emerging questions are how different ecological and evolutionary factors influence community assembly of functional groups in the environment and whether it is possible to assign ecological niches to different lineages. In this project, denitrifying microbial communities and populations serve as model systems to address this fundamental question. Denitrification is an anaerobic respiration pathway, which regulate nitrogen loss from ecosystems and emissions of nitrous oxide, a major greenhouse gas and a dominant ozone depleting substance. The denitrification potential of an ecosystem is ultimately determined by the functional diversity of the assemblage of denitrifiers, the evolution of which is constrained by changes in ecological factors. The project aim is to experimentally test for ecotypes and how they are selected and evolve by exploring niche differentiation among denitrifiers. In addition, the effects of changing environmental conditions on fitness will be determined in relation to the genetic underpinnings of diversification in a single population using a micro-evolution experiment. This project will result in an understanding of how environmental selection acts on divergence of communities and single genotypes into ecologically distinct populations. Thus, this project will aid in understanding the relationship between microbial community dynamics and ecosystem processes with bearings on sustainable agriculture, climate regulation and treatment of nitrogen polluted waters.
The work will include laboratory experiments and analysis, as well as data processing and writing. The PhD student will be part of a research group of PhD students, post-docs and younger researchers focusing on nitrogen cycling and microbial ecology at the department of microbiology, SLU in Uppsala. The group has extensive national and international collaborations in the field and the project will be carried out in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute in Bremen, Germany. The PhD student is expected do at least two research visits in Bremen to perform some of the experimental work.
Starting date: By agreement
The application should be written in English and the curriculum vitae should include contact information of at least two references familiar with the applicant's qualifications and experience.
The student is expected to have an MSc degree, or equivalent, in microbiology or a subject relevant for the position. Formal training in cell cultivation, evolution, bioinformatics and statistics are merits as well as knowledge in microbial ecology or ecology. Previous experience with laboratory work, cell cultures and molecular methods is desirable. The working language in the research group is English and excellent communication skills in English orally and in writing are required. We are looking for a highly motivated candidate interested in academic research on the international arena.
Application Deadline : 10 October 2012