PhD in Microalgal Biotechnology

Come join the Microalgae & Microbiomes Research Group at UiT - The Arctic University of Norway!

The Microalgae & Microbiomes Research Group (M2RG) at UiT – The Arctic University of Norway is searching for a PhD student to study and engineer marine polar microalgae for enhanced waste-based cultivation. The position is funded by the Norwegian Colleague of Fishery Sciences at the Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics – UiT. This is a full-time appointment for a period of four years.    

The PhD student will work within the establishment of bioprocesses that can take advantage of biological value of waste products from the human fossil fuel utilization and from agro and food streams by using improved polar microalgal strains. These waste materials will be processed to serve as carbon sources for microalgae cultivation with or without light. Thus, there is a huge potential for turning waste into beneficial products from microalgae. The PhD project aims to select polar microalgal strains with high carbon dioxide uptake and utilization or heterotrophic abilities by using organic waste, and subsequent engineering of selected strains for improvement of photosynthetic/heterotrophic capabilities. Tasks will include bioprospection of polar marine microalgal strains, optimization of culture conditions in photobioreactors, and strain improvement via synthetic biology strategies. The project will develop and utilize tools in molecular biology, biochemistry, bioprocess and engineering of polar microalgal strains and synthetic biology to harness waste uptake and utilization. This project will uncover fundamental scientific knowledge that leads to innovation of improved polar microalgal cultivation using waste and production of high-value metabolites. The exact emphasis of the project will in part be tailored to the strengths and ambitions of the successful candidate.

The successful candidate will become a part of the Microalgae & Microbiomes Research Group and will regularly interact with its members who work on different aspects of algal biotechnology, synthetic biology and marine microbial ecology.

The specific requirements and application portal can be found at

Unique opportunities at UiT – The Arctic University of Norway. The Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø (UiT) is located in coastal northern Norway, 350 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle yet the climate is warmer than most might expect due to the Gulf Stream. It is one of Norway’s major universities and home to many advanced capabilities that strategically promote integration between Arctic marine ecology and biotechnological innovation. The research group has access to advanced laboratory and field expedition capabilities including state-of-the-art bioimaging, next generation sequencing and world class research vessels. This project will be an integrated part of the Faculty for Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics. Tromsø is a modern, medium size Scandinavian city that offers exceptional work-life balance, a safe/healthy family atmospheres, outdoor sports, a thriving night life and unparalleled natural beauty.

For further information, please contact: Associate Professor Daniela Morales-Sánchez, email

Application deadline: TBD
Start date: Flexible
Location: Tromsø, Norway