Multiple Postdoc Positions in Microbial Ecology/Molecular Microbiology/Biostructural Interactions: Germany

Friedrich Schiller University is a traditional university with a strong research profile rooted in the heart of Germany. As a university covering all disciplines, it offers a wide range of subjects. Its research is focused on the areas Light—Life—Liberty. It is closely networked with non-research institutions, research companies and renowned cultural institutions. With around 18,000 students and more than 8,600 employees, the university plays a major role in shaping Jena’s character as a cosmopolitan and future-oriented city.

The core mission of the Cluster of Excellence “Balance of the Microverse” of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena is to elucidate fundamental principles of the interactions and functions in microbial communities in diverse habitats, ranging from oceans and groundwater to plant and human hosts. We aim to identify the shared characteristics of disturbed or polluted ecosystems as well as infectious diseases on the microbiome level, and develop strategies for their remediation by targeted interventions. The affiliated early career program of the Jena School for Microbial Communication (JSMC) offers an ambitious, structured and interdisciplinary post-graduate training based on top-level fundamental research.

The Cluster of Excellence Balance of the Microverse invites applications for

Postdoctoral Researcher Positions in Microbial Ecology/Molecular Microbiology/Biostructural Interactions (m/f/d)

commencing on November 1st, 2022, or at the earliest possible date. We offer up to three two-year, full-time positions embedded within several research groups in our Cluster of Excellence, e.g., the Papenfort lab, the Stallforth lab, the Hellmich group, in close collaboration with the groups of Kirsten Küsel, Georg Pohnert, Axel Brakhage and Christian Eggeling. We are looking for an engaging and motivated individual, who is willing to collaborate widely and to look beyond traditional disciplines to further our mission.

The project will focus on the interaction of commensal and pathogenic microorganisms with microplastic particles in the environment. Research over the past few years has revealed that microplastic particles can be detected in nearly all habitats (marine, soil, etc.), however, it is frequently unclear if and how microplastic particles affect the composition of microbial consortia and the overall performance of the microbiome. In this project, we aim to understand: a) the molecular factors underlying attachment of microorganisms to microplastic particles, b) the role of extracellular communication molecules for microbial proliferation on microplastic, and c) the impact of microplastic 3D structure and composition on this process.

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