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Bayi Glacier in Qilian Mountain, China (Credit: Xiaoming Wang, distributed via

Job advertisement PhD position in aquatic microbial ecology and biogeochemistry

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European Geosciences Union

PhD position in aquatic microbial ecology and biogeochemistry

PhD position in aquatic microbial ecology and biogeochemistry

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University of Vienna

Vienna, Austria


Relevant divisions
Biogeosciences (BG)
Climate: Past, Present & Future (CL)
Ocean Sciences (OS)

Full time

Student / Graduate / Internship


Required education

Application deadline
Open until the position is filled

27 March 2024

Job description

A fully funded (4-year) PhD position is available at the Division of Microbial Ecology (DOME) at the Centre for Microbiology and Environmental Systems Science (CeMESS), University of Vienna, Austria. The PhD candidate will conduct research within the framework of the Cluster of Excellence “Microbiomes Drive Planetary Health” under the supervision of Barbara Bayer.

Project description:
Extensive human activities (e.g., agriculture, industrial production, and sewage discharge) have led to increased eutrophication of lakes and marine coastal zones. As a result, aquatic ecosystems are more frequently affected by hypoxia or anoxia, and coastal bottom waters often display strong seasonal fluctuations in oxygen concentrations. Oxygen availability can have a major impact on microbial metabolism and thus likely affects microbial community composition and microbiome functioning. The PhD candidate will investigate changes in microbiome functioning in response to oxygen depletion by combining metagenomic and transcriptomic sequencing with activity measurements using stable and radioisotope approaches. Our goal is to further understand if microbial communities are better adapted to oxygen depletion if they have previously experienced anoxic events.

Project-related tasks include:

- Microbial activity measurements and community profiling in coastal marine ecosystems
- Metagenomics and -transcriptomics of in situ microbial communities
- Data analyses and preparation of scientific publications
- Presenting work output in department seminars and at conferences
- Co-supervision of trainees and students

The successful candidate will benefit from a collaborative and international research network. We thrive to be an inclusive, welcoming and safe environment for people of all backgrounds, ethnic identities and gender identities.

Interested candidates (f/m/d) should have a MSc degree (or equivalent) in Microbiology/Ecology/Aquatic Sciences/Geochemistry/Bioinformatics or a related field. A strong interest to learn new methodological skills, including wet-lab and bioinformatics approaches, is required. The ideal candidate has experience with/or a strong interest in applying isotope techniques and bioinformatics methods. The candidate must have the ability to work independently but also in research teams. Self-motivation, creativity and curiosity are essential assets. Willingness to plan and conduct fieldwork in coastal ocean environments is required. The candidate must have good organizational skills and a very good level of spoken and written English.