Postdoc position in marine microbial interactions

Coral reef ecosystems are critically threatened by the effects of global climate change. As corals are long-lived organisms, it is likely that the current rate of climate change is rapidly outpacing the capacity for genetic adaptation in reef-building corals. In recent years, non-genetic mechanisms of adaptation, such es epigenetic mechanisms, phenotypic plasticity, or changes to the microbial communities and metabolisms, have increasingly shifted into the focus of coral reef research. Reef-building corals are complex holobionts that associate with intracellular algae (Symbiodiniaceae), bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses. Decades of functional research are testament to the importance of the coral-algae symbiosis, a reciprocal nutrient-exchange relationship that forms the functional basis of coral reef formation. However, our understanding of the functions of the other microbes in the coral holobiont remains limited. Increasingly, microbial roles are considered in the health, resilience, and acclimatization of coral holobionts to global environmental change. As such, the molecular and metabolic interactions of bacteria in the coral holobiont remain poorly understood, and experimental data supporting the mutualistic lifestyles of bacteria in corals are largely lacking.

A motivated postdoc on a research engineer contract will develop hypothesis-driven research of microbial interactions and functions in cnidarian health and stress responses in the context of global climate change using a reduced model system approach. The postdoc will develop a research project using dinoflagellate, bacterial and fungal co-cultures to identify crosstalk, i.e. specific molecular pathways and metabolites involved in the interactions of different microbial partners. You will further assess how this crosstalk is affected by the effects of global climate change. The recipient of this postdoctoral contract will have access to microbial cultures to establish the co-culture work.

This work is embedded into the ANR CPJ Project ‘A connected underwater world’ based at the UMR 3278 CRIOBE at the University of Perpignan Via Domitia, which focuses on the chemical ecology and molecular interactions of complex marine holobionts.


  • Experience in microbial ecology (ideally marine)
  • Experience with aseptic technique and cultivation of (marine) microbes (of at least one of the following groups: dinoflagellate algae, bacteria, fungi)
  • Experience in molecular biology (PCR; nucleic acid extraction, library preparation)
  • Experience with or keen interest to work on metabolomics
  • Experience in bioinformatics, specifically analysis of gene expression and/or metabolomics data is desirable
  • English language skills are required, French language skills are an advantage

The candidate will work at the Moulin à Vent Campus of the University of Perpignan Via Domitia.

Contract duration: 18 months, extension depending on funding

Desired start date: 1 September 2024

Working hours: 37.3 hours and 57 days annual leave.

Salary range: Remuneration will be commensurate with experience (gross salary range is 2,326 and 2,500 euros a month).

Degree requirements: PhD

Interviews for this position will be held during the week of 15-19 July 2024.

Interested? Please submit your CV and a motivation letter outlining your skills and interests in the framework of the proposed project to

CPJ Dr. Claudia Pogoreutz (PI):
Dr. Pierre Sasal (Director of CRIOBE):

Share this opportunity