Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät

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PhD Project in Microbial Molecular Ecology

Faculty of Science, Department of Geomicrobiology

The research group for Microbial Molecular Ecology in the Geomicrobiology department at the University of Tübingen is looking for a PhD student (Environmental Microbiologist, Molecular Ecologist) who will work on:

'Metabolism of iron(II)-oxidizing bacteria under nitrate-reducing conditions'

Iron (Fe) is one of the most abundant elements on Earth and an essential nutrient for microorganisms. Reduced Iron, Fe(II), is furthermore used as electron donor by Fe(II)-oxidizing bacteria. Despite the relevance of Fe(II)-oxidizing bacteria in Fe-rich environments, the metabolic pathway, physiology, and genes involved in Fe(II) oxidation remain largely

This PhD project will examine the metabolism of iron(II)-oxidizing bacteria under nitrate-reducing conditions in enrichment cultures by applying omics techniques (e.g. metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics) in tandem with stable-isotope probing. Potential genes involved in Fe(II) oxidation will be identified that can be used as targets for molecular assays, e.g. quantitative PCR (qPCR) and PCR. Assays for DNA- and RNA-based qPCR and PCR will be developed and applied to diverse environmental samples (e.g. rice paddy soil, iron-rich marine and freshwater sediments) in order to estimate the environmental relevance (gene abundance and gene diversity) of Fe(II)-oxidizers in these habitats.

We are offering a PhD position in an interdisciplinary, international, and dynamic team of molecular ecologists, microbiologists, geochemists and geoscientists. This position provides an opportunity for the candidate to be creative and innovative, and to work on a challenging, multidisciplinary topic. Ideal candidates should have a solid background in molecular ecology and environmental microbiology. Applicants must have the ability to work independent and in a team, have excellent management and communication skills and should be highly motivated and committed to pursuing interdisciplinary research. Very good computer and language skills (English) are necessary. The candidate will have the opportunity to present his/her results in international journals and at conferences.

The starting date is October 1st 2016 or as soon as possible thereafter. The project is part of the “Research Training Group 1708 (GRK1708): Molecular Principles of Bacterial Survival Strategies”, supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. The employment (TVL E13, up to 65%, 3 years) will be arranged by the administration of the University of Tübingen. Disabled persons will be preferred in case of equal qualification.

Applications including CV, motivation letter, overview of techniques and methods used in the past, transcripts, and contact address of two referees should be send by email before September 14th 2016 to:
Dr. Sara Kleindienst, Microbial Molecular Ecology Group, Geomicrobiology, Center for Applied Geosciences, University of Tübingen, Hölderlinstr. 12, D-72074 Tübingen, Germany, Phone: +49-7071-2974701

More information can be found on the website:

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