PhD on the Ecology of Ammonia-oxidizing Archaea: Denmark

A three-year PhD position in marine microbial ecology is available at the research unit Nordcee, Department of Biology, University of Southern Denmark. The successful candidate will join a team of scientists studying the ecophysiology and ecology of ammonia-oxidizing archaea in oxygen limited environments funded by a Villum Young Investigator grant to Assistant Professor Beate Kraft.

The project:

Ammonia-oxidizing archaea are key players in the nitrogen cycle of the world’s oceans. They are frequently found in oxygen-depleted environments like marine oxygen-minimum zones or sediments though they are thought to have a strictly aerobic physiology. We found evidence for a so far undiscovered anaerobic metabolic pathway in a cultured representative.

This PhD project’s aim is to investigate the distribution of this pathway and the role of ammonia-oxidizing archaea in oxygen depleted habitats by combining comparative genomics, metaproteomics and transcriptomics. The abundance and diversity of genes involved in the pathway will be assessed.

The expected starting date is 15 April 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Required qualifications:

We are looking for a highly motivated and curiosity-driven candidate with interest in the microbial ecology and biogeochemistry of microbial key players in global element cycling. Applicants should hold an MSc degree in (environmental) microbiology, microbial ecology, biology, environmental sciences, or related fields. The position is open to both Danish and international applicants. Applicants should have working experience with common techniques in molecular biology. Experience in metagenome and/or -transcriptome analyses is of advantage. Proficiency in spoken and written English is mandatory.

The selected PhD student will be supervised by Don Canfield as main supervisor and Beate Kraft as co-supervisor.


Applications are made via the online portal. Find more information on how to apply here.

Application deadline: 8 March 2021.

For further information please contact Beate Kraft (+45 6550 2714,

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