PhD Microbiome structure of warmed grasslands

The Plants and Ecosystems Research group (PLECO) of the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science offers a vacancy for a full-time

PhD position, Microbiome structure of warmed grasslands

Description of the position

A position is vacant for a researcher (Ph.D.-scholarship) to investigate the microbial community responses of warmed grasslands in subarctic Iceland to evaluate and predict responses to climate change.

Your PhD focuses on the determination of the soil microbiome through time, and how it is associated to root-mediated plant responses to temperature. You will thus develop a detailed seasonal microbiome map, linked to the presence of plant roots, soil temperature and plant dynamics. As part of Innovative Training Network (ITN) FutureArctic, data will be linked to the multitude of environmental variables assessed in the project and will be compared to modelling predictions performed by other PhD students.

A close collaboration is foreseen with ILVO to further develop and integrate next generation sequences (NGS) approaches and analytical tools. There is also room for developing and executing further experiments to understand the relationship between temperature and grassland soil microbial communities.

As a result, the successful candidate will have to combine field work (observations and innovative experiments) with laboratory work and data analysis.

Profile and requirements

  • You are an enthusiastic and motivated student with a strong interest in Microbial Ecology, who likes working in the field and in the lab, as well as bioinformatics and data analysis.
  • You have good organizational, writing and presentation skills and should be able to work well both independently and in a team environment.
  • You must have an ability to understand and express yourself in both written and spoken English to a level that is sufficiently high to derive the full benefit from the network training.
  • You must be eligible to enroll on a PhD program, and adhere to mobility criteria set out by H2020 MSCA, in short you can't have stayed in Belgium for > 1 year in the past 3 years; see ESR1 for full information on eligibility.

We offer

  • You will be employed by the University of Antwerp for 48 months with a competitive salary plus allowances. Funding is available for technical and personal skills training and participation in international research events.
  • You will participate in international secondments to other organizations within the FutureArctic network and in training and outreach activities targeted at a wide audience.

How to apply?

  • Please send all application material including 1) your curriculum vitae 2) a brief (250 words) summary of your reasons for applying and 3) contact information of max. 2 referees as single PDF-file to:
  • Candidates can apply until September 20th, 2019. Student graduating in September can also apply.