We have changed our domainWe have changed servers and operate Career|edu under a different domain. Our services will remain unchanged and we will continue to post the best career openings for the academic world at our new domain.
Go back to the Job List
PhD position, Microbial ecology - 2019BAPFWETEX309Posted by: University of Antwerp
Posted date: 2019-Nov-14
The Faculty of Science is seeking to fill a full-time (100%) vacancy in the Department of Biology for a
Doctoral student in the area of microbial ecology
Microbial ecosystem functioning at oxic-anoxic interfaces in wetlands
Wetland (freshwater marshes, saltmarshes, mangroves) are highly biodiverse ecosystems, which are inundated by water, either permanently or seasonally, and where oxygen-free processes prevail. Wetlands represent a globally significant pool of soil carbon that has been accumulating for millennia, and are an important sink for carbon dioxide (“blue carbon”). Some of the organic material that is deposited in wetlands is degraded by the ambient microbial community, while some is sequestered. Efficient decomposition is hampered by the lack of oxygen, and micro-organisms living at the oxic-anoxic interface in wetlands have evolved a variety of strategies to overcome this obstacle and effectively decompose organic matter. Recently, new mechanisms have been discovered how microbes can overcome the problem of staying in contact with oxygen while “mining” for electron donors and other resources in anoxic environments. Examples are long filamentous bacteria that are capable of long-distance electron transport as well as fungi that can act as O2 transporting vessels. These mechanisms may be important near the inundation layer as well as at the oxic-anoxic interface around plant roots. Within this project the evolutionary and ecological background of microbial strategies to overcome O2 limitation in wetlands will be studied in detail. The PhD student will explore which evolutionary strategies are used and how they may affect the geochemical cycling of carbon and other elements in peatlands.
Approaches: The microbial ecosystem at the interface of oxic and anoxic layers in wetlands will be studied using the following multidisciplinary approaches: in situ sampling of oxic-anoxic interfaces in various wetlands in Northwestern Europe, laboratory incubations of sediments with controlled oxic-anoxic interfaces, characterization of the pore water and solid phase geochemistry, determination of redox gradients by microsensor profiling, state-of-the-art microscopy, amplicon sequencing of microbial groups/genes, meta-genomics and/or meta-transcriptomics.
Profile and requirements
How to apply?
The University of Antwerp is a family friendly organization, with a focus on equal opportunities and diversity. Our HR-policy for researchers was awarded by the European Commission with the quality label HR Excellence in research.
We support the Science4Refugees initiative and encourage asylum-seeking, refugee scientists and researchers to apply for a job at the University of Antwerp.