PhD Student

Last application date
Feb 19, 2023 00:00
WE10 - Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology
Limited duration
MSc in Biology, MSc in Biotechnology, MSc Bioscience engineering or equivalent
Occupancy rate
Vacancy type
Research staff

Job description

In the framework of a recently started research project Group of Anne Willems at the Lab. of Microbiology (UGent, Faculty of Science) has a position for a PhD student for 1 year and extended by another 3 years after positive evaluation. The aim is to study diatom-bacteria interactions and microbiome dynamics under abiotic stress.
The study is part of large multidisciplinary project in collaboration with researchers of other UGent and VIB departments aimed at understanding the biotic interactions and molecular processes that drive the extraordinary species diversity and ecological success of benthic diatoms. Given the importance of biofilm functioning for global biogeochemical cycling, understanding the nature of underlying microbial interactions and their susceptibility or resilience to climate parameters are urgent questions that need to be addressed.
The successful candidate will characterize the bacterial communities living in the phycosphere of benthic diatom strains through amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA genes, metagenomics and metatranscritpomics under normal and stressed conditions. Model species as well as natural communities will be studied. Diatom-associated bacteria will be isolated and genomic, phenotypic and chemotypic characterization will be performed and interactions will be explored by testing for growth inhibition effects, production of/response to quorum sensing signals. The work will involve collaboration with other PhD students and postdocs studying other aspects of the diatom life cycle dynamics. It will also involve scientific writing and publishing the research results in international journals.

Job profile

  • You have obtained your Master degree in Biochemistry and Biotechnology or Biology with excellent grades before the start date of the position.
  • You do not yet hold a PhD degree and are motivated to perform high quality research towards obtaining a PhD degree.
  • You have a strong interest in working in the microbiology wet lab as well as in bioinformatics and genome analysis.
  • Experience in bacteriology, molecular biology laboratory techniques and bioinformatics is an asset.
  • You combine being a team player with a strong sense of autonomy, responsibility and initiative.
  • You are very organized and able to plan your work efficiently and with an eye for quality and precision.
  • You have good oral and written communication skills and have a very good knowledge of written and spoken English.
  • You are prepared to apply for additional funding if eligible.

How to apply

To apply for this position, please mail the following documents (if possible as a single pdf) to by 19 February 2023:
1. Motivation Letter. The 1-page cover letter should include the position reference, your contact address and telephone number and point out the main reasons why you should be considered for this position.
2. Curriculum Vitae. Your CV should provide a detailed overview of your education, laboratory and computing skills, employment and previous professional experience, including a list of papers published if available. It can also provide details on your research interests and any additional skills that may be useful for the position.
Include the names and contact details (address, telephone, e-mail) of two referees that are able to comment on your work experience, skills and performance relevant for the position.
3. Copies of your diplomas and details of obtained grades.