Postdoc in Arctic Oil Microbiology: Denmark

The Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, invites applications for a 2-year postdoc position offering applicants an exciting opportunity to join our research project on Arctic microbial oil degradation in Greenland’s marine environment. The position is for 2 years and is available from 1st of March 2019 or as soon as possible hereafter with the aim to be ready for fieldwork during the Arctic summer.

Job description/research project/research area

The position will be co-funded by projects on Arctic oil biodegradation from the Danish Villum Foundation and the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans. You are expected to contribute to these projects and bring in new ideas.
You will combine field and laboratory experiments based on in situ (field) and ex situ (lab) deployed oil-coated adsorbents to investigate (i) the composition, activity and biodegradation potential of Arctic oil-degrading microbial communities, (ii) environmental controls on oil biodegradation and (iii) the role of oil-degrading biofilms observed on oil droplets.

As our project planning is ongoing, there is currently considerable freedom to align the goals of the project with the goals of the candidate. The candidate is therefore encouraged to describe research ideas as part of the application (max. 1 page for research ideas).

Your profile

Our ideal candidate holds a PhD in microbiology or environmental sciences/engineering or similar, is able to join research expeditions in the Arctic, has an open mind to develop new ideas and is eager to collaborate, and is motivated to work on a project that is critical to preserve Arctic marine ecosystems.

The following experiences are considered as an advantage:

  • Experience with organizing and conducting fieldwork (or other relevant field experiences)
  • Handling lab reactor/microcosm setups
  • Experience with modern molecular techniques and bioinformatics (e.g. amplicon sequencing, metagenomics and metatranscriptomics)
  • Experience with chemical analysis (GC-MS or similar)
  • Experience with / ideas for techniques relevant to investigate oil-degrading biofilms (e.g. microsensor, confocal laser scanning microscopy, etc.)
  • Publishing in peer-reviewed journals
  • Developing and writing project proposals

Where experience is lacking, the candidate must be motivated to learn and will get the opportunity to develop new skills.
The applicant should be interested to co-supervise students.
Excellence in both written and spoken English is a requirement.

Who we are
The Arctic is borderless, and so is the Arctic Research Centre (ARC). The centre recognizes the need to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to adequately address contemporary and critical Arctic issues. Therefore, a large number of researchers from a wide variety of disciplines have joined forces to investigate effects of climate changes and related consequences such as increased risk for oil spills on the Arctic cryosphere, ecosystems and societies. Joint field campaigns constitute a focal point in the work of ARC and are an effective means to unite and integrate the different academic fields involved, sparking interdisciplinary collaboration and synergy.

The candidate will also be affiliated with the Section for Microbiology at the Department of Bioscience. Research at the section integrates microbiological, molecular biological and biogeochemical methods to study the microbial ecology of natural and man-made environments.

The successful candidate is offered:
We offer a well-financed and unique research opportunity to conduct both field and laboratory investigations on a topic that is currently high on international agendas (i.e. oil spills in the Arctic).

The successful candidate will be employed by the Department of Bioscience at Aarhus University ( and be a part of the Arctic Research Centre ( at the Department of Bioscience.

We guarantee access to well-developed research infrastructure. We work together with the Section for Microbiology ( at the Department of Bioscience and with the Section for Environmental Chemistry and Physics at Copenhagen University ( for access to state-of-the-art microbiological and chemical analysis infrastructure, respectively.

The place of work is Ny Munkegade 116, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark, and the area of employment is Aarhus University with related departments.

Further information about the position may be obtained from Leendert Vergeynst, +4587162167, email:

Further details
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