PhD Research Fellowship in microbial systems ecology

Position as PhD Research Fellowship in microbial systems ecology available at the Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo.

We are recruiting a PhD student in the area of microbial systems ecology to work on environmental genomics of northern lakes. The successful candidate will be involved in the application and development of molecular and bioinformatic tools in the field of environmental microbiology.
Research in the lab ties in with the recent revolution in sequencing and single cell technologies to explore the dynamics of complex microbial systems in aquatic environments. The candidate for this position is expected to move beyond the hypotheses generating environmental 'omics' and focus on the development of new concepts and experimental systems to shift microbial ecology from an explorative to experimental science.
Knowledge on the structure and functioning of complex microbial systems in aquatic environments is highly relevant regarding microbial mitigation of climate change, in regards to greenhouse gas emissions. Effects of climate change on lake ecosystems are expected to be particularly strong at northern latitudes. Two major, climate-induced changes in northern lakes are: (i) altered thermal regimes and (ii) increased input of terrestrial dissolved organic matter. In this PhD project, field data from lakes across Scandinavia will be obtained, from which genomic and transcript data will be synthesized in an ecological context using systems biology approaches that have been used for cellular systems. Like a living cell, a lake has a collective metabolism based largely on the dynamic genetic blueprint and expressed phenotypes of microorganisms that control most fluxes of energy and matter.
The ultimate goal of the project is to predict ecosystem processes, in particular greenhouse gas emissions, from the behavior of complex microbial systems in northern lakes. The selection of lakes will build on existing data of northern lakes for which there are data on key water quality properties available, such as biodiversity at all trophic levels as well as concentrations of the three greenhouse gases CO2, CH4 and N2O.
The successful candidate will work in close collaboration with PhD students and postdoctoral fellows at the section of aquatic biology and toxicology (AQUA). The student will be supervised by Associate Professor Alexander Eiler, in close collaborations with Professors Dag O. Hessen and Tom Andersen. Projects involve several established collaborations with other research teams nationally and internationally.

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Application deadline:
Start date: Flexible
Location: University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway