Postdoc: Exploring the relationship between growth strategy and community assembly in freshwater bacteria

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The scientific branch limnology deals with inland waters as ecosystems. Limnologists study the biology, physics, chemistry and ecology of rivers, lakes, groundwater and wetlands. Currently, the importance of limnology increases due to processes like climate change, pollution of surface- and ground-waters. The research focus of the Limnological Station Kilchberg starts with the smallest independent organisms, namely bacteria, but concerns also the huge variety of unicellular eukaryotic organisms (e.g. algae, protozoa). Beside bacteria, protists belong to the oldest (3 billions) and smallest (a hundredth of one millimetre) organisms. For limnologists, bacteria and protists are of great importance as they are excellent indicator organisms for the characterization of inland waters (e.g. pollution effects).

Your Responsibilities

The position is in the context of the project “Community assembly processes of ‘opportunistic’ freshwater bacteria” sponsored by the Swiss National Fund. The project explores the hypothesis that particular mechanisms of community assembly may be related to the growth strategy of freshwater planktonic bacteria. Specifically, it is to be tested if bacteria with ‘opportunistic’ growth properties might disproportionally lean towards stochasticity within bacterioplankton assemblages. The relationship between functional redundancy and community assembly processes will be studied in in sets of replicate experimental consortia generated from freshwater microbial inocula at defined conditions.

Your profile

Applicants must have a PhD in biological sciences, with a relationship to the position (e.g. Limnology, Microbiology, Ecology, Bioinformatics). They also must be proficient in English. We are especially looking for candidates with one or several of the following qualifications: metagenomic analysis (required), microbial community ecology, experimental work with microbial consortia, statistical analysis using R. The project is expected to be divided equally between computational and laboratory tasks.

We offer

The position is granted for a period of 1 year, with the possibility of extension for 1-2 more years.

Place of work

Limnological Station
Seestr. 187
8802 Kilchberg

Start of employment

The envisaged starting date is June 2020, but can possibly be earlier

Further information

Prof. Jakob Pernthaler 

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