[Coral-List] Two PhD positions on ocean acidification: Microbial ecology/Molecular biology, Biogeochemistry/Microbial physiology

Katharina Fabricius K.Fabricius at aims.gov.au
Fri Jul 20 19:10:16 EDT 2012

I am positing this on behalf of the Max-Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen:

The Max-Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, seeks candidates for two PhD positions.

In a consortium project of the BMBF BIOACID program (Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification, Phase II), the diversity and functioning of marine microbial communities, as well as the biogeochemistry in natural pCO2 gradients will be investigated. Example sites are volcanic seeps in Papua New Guiney. Interdisciplinary collaboration with other PIs of the consortium and the BIOACID program will provide insight into the ecology of acidified marine environments. The candidates will use state-of-the-art technology in a stimulating, diverse and international research environment. From both students we expect excellent written and spoken English, good communication skills and team player attitude, high motivation, broad interest in marine studies, improvisation talent, and participation in cruises to remote areas.

1) PhD student position in MICROBIAL ECOLOGY/MOLECULAR BIOLOGY to study the EFFECTS OF OCEAN ACIDIFICATION on the structure and functions of natural microbial communities in extreme environments

This student will work in the Deep-Sea Ecology and Technology group, that combines expertise in microbial habitat studies, biogeochemistry, microbial molecular tools and ecological modeling (http://www.mpi-bremen.de/en/Habitat_group.html). The PhD student will specifically address (1) changes in the nature and strength of interactions between and among micro-organisms, when subjected to ocean acidification under natural conditions, and (2)
the relationships between changes in community structure and the emerging properties of the biological systems (e.g. remineralization of organic matter, respiration). At chosen sites, biofilm and sediment communities will be analyzed for their diversity, community structure as a function of the naturally occurring acidification gradients.

Specific tasks
• Take part to sample collection in Papua New Guinea and other seep habitats
• Perform molecular work (DNA extraction, fingerprinting, sequencing, etc)
• Further analyze data using multivariate statistics
• Prepare manuscripts for publication and present results to conferences

• Diploma/Master in microbiology, molecular biology, ecology or related disciplines
• Good time planner

2) PhD student position in BIOGEOCHEMISTRY/MICROBIAL PHYSIOLOGY to study the EFFECTS OF OCEAN ACIDIFICATION on microbial process rates in marine sediments and biofilms

This student will work Microsensor Research Group, that studies element cycling in marine sediments, microbial mats and biofilms with high spatial resolution methods. Our studies combine in situ measurements (e.g. in the deep sea, coral reefs and intertidal flats) with experiments under controlled laboratory conditions. We directly work with other groups in the MPI to include microbial molecular tools and biogeochemical methods (http://www.mpi-bremen.de/en/ Microsensor_Group.html). The student will investigate the effects of enhanced CO2 levels on the rates of element cycling, particularly answer questions on the effect of microbial diversity on element cycling. The main
microbial process rates (primary production and mineralization) will be investigated in habitats that are naturally enriched in CO2. The results will be linked to microbial diversity studies in the same project (see adjacent announcement). The sites will be reefs in shallow waters (Papua New Guinee and the Baltic) that are naturally exposed to acidification, e.g. volcanic seeps. In situ measurements with advanced microsensor profilers will be combined with experiments on samples, exposed to controlled stress levels. We work in close collaboration with project partners in Kiel (GeoMar) and Townsville (AIMS).

Specific tasks
•Chemical characterization of acidified habitats on different scales, by microsensors and classical biogeochemistry
•Rate measurements in sediments and biofilms in Papua New Guinea and other acidified habitats
•Physiological experiments on the same samples, and support studies from project partners with our specialized methods

• Diploma/Master in microbiology or biogeochemistry
• A scientific diver certificate is useful

Application procedure

Please send a CV, full contact information of 3 references, and a maximum two-page statement that explains how your accomplishment and professional goals match the description of the position (specific tasks, requirements). Clearly indicate for which of the 2 positions you apply. The complete application materials must be e-mailed as a single pdf file to Dr. Alban Ramette (aramette at mpibremen.de) and to Dr. Dirk de Beer (dbeer at mpi-bremen.de). Applications are accepted until August 4, 2012. The starting date is scheduled to be September/October 2012, the PhD period will be 3 years.

Katharina Fabricius

Dr. Katharina Fabricius
Principal Research Scientist
Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)
Mail: AIMS, PMB 3, Townsville Q4810, Australia

Phone: +61 -7 4753 4412;  Mobile: 0428 713845;  Fax: +61 -7 4772 5852
Email: k.fabricius at aims.gov.au

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