PhD Candidate: Resilience of Microbial Ecosystem Services in Wetlands, The Netherlands
Radboud University is looking for a talented and enthusiastic ecologist with a background in biogeochemistry or aquatic microbial ecology, for a faculty-funded four-year PhD position focusing on the impact of global change on the resistance and resilience of microbial ecosystem services in wetlands. As a PhD candidate you will be appointed at the Department of Aquatic Ecology and Environmental Biology of Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands (advisors: Dr Annelies Veraart and Prof. Leon Lamers).
About the project
Wetlands not only host a huge biodiversity of plants, animals and micro-organisms, but also provide other important societal services such as clean water and food, and climate regulation. Their ecological functioning is, however, often compromised by external stressors such as climatic change, pollution and eutrophication. These stressors change wetland biogeochemistry by altering the composition and activity of microbial communities, which can lead to severe changes in overall ecosystem functioning. Potentially, such disturbances may even lead to positive climatic feedbacks due to a disturbed balance between the microbial production and consumption of greenhouse gasses.In this project, you will aim to unravel 1) how crucial microbial ecosystem functions in wetlands such as denitrification and methane oxidation are affected by environmental disturbances, and 2) to which extent the involved microbial communities and their functioning are resistant and resilient to stress. You will address these questions using a range of approaches including laboratory experiments (isotope labelling, gas chromatography / IRMS / qPCR), field measurements (field gas analysis, analysis of water and sediment chemistry, RNA/DNA-sequencing) and field experiments in the Netherlands and abroad.
As a PhD candidate, you will receive excellent training through cutting-edge research and advanced courses and training opportunities, complemented by workshops on generic research, transferable skills and teaching. You will be expected to be committed to conducting independent and original scientific research, to report on this research in international publications and presentations, and to present the results of the research in a PhD dissertation, to be completed within four years.
- MSc degree (or equivalent) with a specialisation in biogeochemistry, microbial ecology, microbiology or a related field, and ideally have experience in molecular biology and the analysis of sequencing data.
- Statistical proficiency is essential.
- In addition, a good command of spoken and written English, have a passion for science, a demonstrated ability to conduct and report about research, and a strong motivation to work in the fields of wetland biogeochemistry and microbial ecology.