Call for applications – 2 PhD positions on host-microbiota interactions in Kiel in the Institute of General Microbiology

The ultimate goal of the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1182 “Origin and Function of Metaorganisms” at the Christian-Albrechts-University is to understand why and how microbial communities form long-term associations with hosts from diverse taxonomic groups. We are particularly interested in the specific functional consequences of the interactions, the underlying regulatory principles, and the resulting impact on host life history and evolutionary fitness in selected host systems.

We are seeking outstanding candidates at the next possible time

  • 2 PhD positions
    Salary will be commensurate at level TV-L 13 of the federal wage agreement scheme (Tarifvertrag der Länder). The working time is 65 % of a fulltime-position (currently 25.155 h/week).

The position is limited until 31.12.2023.

Project B2 “Microbiota-host interactions at the base of the metazoan tree”

The project addresses the establishment and functional consequences of the microbiota in two basal metazoan animals, the comb jelly Mnemiopsis leidyi (Ctenophora) and the Scyphozoan jellyfish Aurelia aurita (Cnidaria) by focusing on the following key questions: (i) What is the basis of the observed microbial contribution to A. aurita reproduction? (ii) What is the functionality of Quorum Quenching (QQ) activities between microbes for establishing the associated microbiota in both host species? (iii) Are there conserved host-derived QQ patterns in different metaorganisms (lower metazoan)? (iv) What is the function of the associated microbiota for M. leidyi host fitness? (v) What is the importance of microbiota for rapid adaptation during the invasion process of M. leidyi?

  • PhD position 1 (Schmitz-Streit): The role of microbiota for A. aurita reproduction and functionality of QQ activities

Project description: The main focus will be characterizing the underlying molecular mechanism(s) of the microbial contribution to A. aurita reproduction by a combination of different approaches (metagenomics, expression analyses, chemical analysis of potential signals) (above question (i)). Re-colonization experiments with manipulated microbial communities will complement the findings. We offer a highly interesting project in a motivated team and in a scientifically attractive interdisciplinary environment of the CRC.

  • PhD position 2 (Schmitz-Streit shared with Thorsten Reusch, Geomar): The role of microbiota for A. aurita reproduction and functionality of QQ activities

Project description: The main focus will be elucidating the functionality of Quorum quenching (QQ) activities between microbes and host derived (M. leidyi and A. aurita) QQ activities by RNAseq analysis and genetic approaches (above question (ii))>. This will be complemented with comparative analysis in different lower metazoans to elucidate potential conservation (above question (iii)). We offer a highly interesting project in a motivated team and in a scientifically attractive interdisciplinary environment of the CRC.

Requirements (both positions): Prerequisites are a master degree in biology or biochemistry with a focus on microbiology or biochemistry and corresponding laboratory practice. In particular, a consolidated knowledge of molecular biology, genetic and biochemical methods is desirable

Kiel University aims at a higher proportion of women in research and education, and, therefore, specifically encourages qualified female scientists to apply. Female scientists will be preferentially considered in case of equivalent qualification, competence and achievements. Kiel University specifically supports employment of severely handicapped people. Therefore, severely handicapped applicants will be preferentially considered in case of suitable qualification. Kiel University specifically welcomes application from people with migration background.

Applicants should send their application as a single pdf-document to the office of the CRC 1182 (office@metaorganism-research.com). The application should include (i) a curriculum vitae with a list of publications, (ii) Master or doctoral certificate or proof of records (iii) a motivation statement (max. 2 pages), (iv) a list of maximal 3 preferred positions (from among the offered projects) plus a short explanation of the preferences (max. 1 page), and (v) contact addresses of two possible referees. Please abstain from sending application portraits.

Deadline for applications is 22nd December 2019.

The selection week will be held February 13th - 17th 2020.

If you have any questions the CRC 1182 program or individual projects, please contact Prof. Dr. Ruth Schmitz-Streit rschmitz@ifam.uni-kiel.de or Dr. Nancy Weiland-Bräuer nweiland@ifam.uni-kiel.de

Advertisement of the complete positions of the CRC:

https://www.uni-kiel.de/personal/de/stellen/extern/wiss

https://www.metaorganism-research.com/wp-content/uploads/Call-for-applications_CRC-1182.pdf