Postdoc in Viral Ecology and Discovery: Germany

Friedrich Schiller University is a traditional university with a strong research profile rooted in the heart of Germany. As a university covering all disciplines, it offers a wide range of subjects. Its research is focused on the areas Light—Life—Liberty. It is closely networked with non-research institutions, research companies and renowned cultural institutions. With around 18,000 students and more than 8,600 employees, the university plays a major role in shaping Jena’s character as a cosmopolitan and future-oriented city.

The core mission of the Cluster of Excellence “Balance of the Microverse” of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany, is to elucidate fundamental principles of the interactions and functions in microbial communities in diverse habitats, ranging from oceans and groundwater to plant and human hosts. We collaborate with the Center of Microbiome Science (CoMS) of the Ohio State University, USA, with its mission to empower microbiome science for the design and prediction of microbial communities in animal, plant, human, environmental, and engineered systems.

As part of the International Scientists Exchange Program in the Cluster of Excellence we invite applications for a

Postdoctoral Researcher in Viral Ecology and Discovery (m/f/d)

commencing on November 1st, 2022, or at the next possible date thereafter. We offer a two-year, full-time position embedded within several world class viral/microbial ecology research groups. The successful candidate will work at the Küsel Lab at the University of Jena, in close collaboration with the teams of Manja Marz and Bas Dutilh, and at the Sullivan Lab at the Ohio State University. We are looking for an engaging and motivated individual, who is willing to spend time both in Germany and the US, to collaborate widely and to look beyond traditional disciplines to further our mission.

The postdoctoral project will address the questions how viruses modulate microbial impacts of ecosystem functioning via killing, transferring niche-defining genes (e.g., antibiotic resistance), and reprogramming. We will address the ecological and evolutionary pressures that viruses apply to groundwater and soil ecosystems. Leveraging over ten years of spatiotemporal data collected at the Hainich Critical Zone Exploratory, and multiple large scale metagenomic and metaproteomic datasets, the prospective applicant will aim to quantify carbon, nutrient, and gene fluxes passing through a groundwater viral shunt. Identified mechanisms will be verified via experimental manipulation experiments. Options to generalize findings exist by utilizing pre-existing datasets available within both Balance of the Microverse and the CoMS or by generating the data deemed necessary to extend the results to regional or global scales.

The postdoctoral research will benefit from the interdisciplinary expertise at the Cluster of Excellence “Balance of the Microverse” as well as the European Virus Bioinformatics Center in Jena, and the Center of Microbiome Science at Ohio State University. Beyond CoMS, Ohio State’s 100+ microbiome faculty make for a tight research network that also includes the Infectious Disease Institute, with a Microbial Communities Program, and the EMERGE Biology Integration Institute, an NSF Biology Integration Institute pushing microbiome science with a climate change microbiology and eco-systems biology focus.

More information and how to apply
Share this opportunity