PhD positions

PhD in the field of acidophiles: Netherlands

We are looking for an enthusiastic and independent PhD candidate with interest in microbiology, specifically on the application of omics approaches (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics) to study the microbial physiology of acidophilic anaerobes. The candidate should have a good background on microbiology, strong motivation, good communication skills and ability for teamwork and cooperation.

Project description:
This project is part of the Gravitation Research Program SIAM – Soehngen Institute of Anaerobic Microbiology ( The PhD project will be developed at the Laboratory of Microbiology at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) under the supervision of Dr. Irene Sánchez-Andrea and in collaboration with Radboud University (Nijmegen, the NL) co-supervised by Dr. Cornelia Welte.

Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a phenomenon caused by the chemical oxidation of metallic sulfide-ores, catalyzed by acidophilic iron- and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria and archaea. While the oxic part of these AMD show low-diversity dominated by iron- and sulfur-oxidizers, the microbial diversity in the anoxic sediments of AMD environments is much larger than previously thought, consisting of complex communities involved in the carbon, sulfur and nitrogen cycles. In this project research, we will study two isolates as representatives of important activities of the anaerobic zones of extreme acidic environments, namely an acidophilic sulfate-reducing bacteria and an acidotolerant methanogen. We will study their physiology with special focus on the mechanisms used to resist extreme conditions of low pH and high heavy metal concentrations.

We ask

  • Master in Biology, Biotechnology or Microbiology
  • Knowledge of molecular methods and microbial physiology is essential
  • Experience in data analysis using bioinformatics tools is an advantage
  • Fluency in English (both spoken and written). For international applicants (non-native English speakers) it is necessary to have: TOEFL internet-based 90 with a minimum of 23 for speaking, or IELTS (academic version) 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 for speaking
  • Good communication and presentation capabilities

More information
For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Irene Sánchez-Andrea, assistant professor, telephone number +31(0) 317 48 3486.
For more information about the contractual aspects, please contact Mrs. J. van Meurs, HR advisor, telephone number +31 317480101

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