PhD in Microbial Ecology: USA

The Cadillo Lab in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ) is seeking a PhD student to begin in 2022. Research in the Cadillo Lab examines interdisciplinary subjects related to ecosystems processes, carbon cycling and the role of microbes at different spatial scales.

The PhD position focus on transdisciplinary work in ecosystem analysis and integrative modeling of microbes and methane flux predictions for Amazon peatlands. The incoming PhD student will participate in studies of spatial ecology of decomposers and methane-cycling microbes, use genomic and metagenomic approaches to evaluate and predict microbial traits and their variation in Amazon microbes (cultured and uncultured), and collaboratively integrate trait-based values into methane flux modeling. This project uses a trait-based framework for key microbial guilds including decomposers and methane-producing microbes and their feedbacks to climate change in the Amazon. The student will join NSF CAREER project that includes activities like: field work in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries, omics-research to parameterize and predict trait variation, microbial physiology and genomics research and modeling collaborations. Prior research experience in genomics or metagenomics, microbial physiology and molecular microbial ecology is desirable, and any level of numerical modeling is a plus but not strictly required. The student will be expected to demonstrate an ability to work collaboratively, participate in international training, and bridge field and laboratory-based research. Minority students from diverse backgrounds or with relationship to Amazon regions will be highly welcomed!

How to apply

Students with appropriate background in either of the following fields: microbiology, bioinformatics, geomicrobiology, or related fields are encouraged to apply. Students with a record of publication or master’s degree, strong quantitative skills, and appropriate experiences will be given preference. Start date for graduate studies is Fall or Summer according to project needs. To express pre enquires before formal application please email Prof Cadillo-Quiroz at and include:

  1. a statement of research interests and experience
  2. a CV
  3. a writing sample, if available.

Candidates are to be considered for admission through the PhD in Microbiology, PhD in Molecular Biology or PhD in Biology programs (see application details and deadlines here). ASU provides a strong research environment through the School of Life Sciences, the Center for Environmental Biotechnology, the Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics and several others that involve research in the Cadillo lab.

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