Deep molecular characterization of eukaryotic microorganisms´ diversity and community composition in forest soils and the canopy region across biomes using a multiple barcoding approach – micDiv
Soil protists occupy key nodes in terrestrial food webs due to their high abundance, fast turnover and functional importance as microbial grazers. However, methodological drawbacks in both culturing and molecular methods still strongly limit the knowledge of protist diversity, so that large groups remain virtually unknown. Accordingly, the structure of natural protist communities and taxa-specific ecological functions are largely unknown. We will use advanced cultivation-independent high throughput sequencing methods using group-specific primers and reverse rRNAtranscriptomics for a comprehensive assessment of protist diversity across all ecological compartments from forest soils (litter layer, mineral soil) to the canopy region (bark, leaves, dead wood, branch forks, knotholes, epiphytes) in a temperate and tropical biome.
The PhD-projects are part of the DFG-Priority Programme ”Taxon-Omics: New Approaches for Discovering and Naming Biodiversity“ (SPP 1991).
One PhD project will focus on the investigation of Alveolata and Oomycota and be located in Leipzig. One PhD project will focus on the investigation of Amoebozoa and Cercozoa and be located in Cologne. Both PhD-candidates will receive a supervision agreement according to the rules of the DFG. Despite the fact that they will be officially inscribed at either the University of Cologne or Leipzig, field work, isolation of DNA, library preparation and data analyses will be done together and the candidates will be regularly hosted at the corresponding lab.
We expect candidates to have an excellent master or equivalent in biology with a strong background in molecular biology, evolution and ecology as well as data analyses, and strong interest and endurance in field biology. Field work will include sampling in tropical areas. The ability to communicate and cooperate in the team is a precondition.
Applications are accepted until 31. October 2017 and should include a cover letter describing motivations, research interest, relevant background and experience; curriculum vitae in tabular form; one letter of recommendation; address of two referees; copies of certificates (Bachelor, Master, Diploma). Applicants should indicate which of the two positions (Cologne or Leipzig) they apply for.
The University of Cologne and Leipzig University are equal opportunity employers.
Please send your application to:
University of Cologne
Institute of Zoology
Professor Dr. Michael Bonkowski
Zülpicher Str 47b 50674
Köln University of Leipzig
Institute of Biology
Professor Dr. Martin Schlegel
For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.
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