Two PhD students are recruited to work in the BRAIN-BE project MICROBIAN at the Universities of Ghent and Liège, Belgium - Belgium
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- In the BelSPO funded MICROBIAN project coordinated by the Laboratory of Protistology and Aquatic Ecology, remote sensing analysis of soil crusts in a high latitude cold desert will be combined with field experiments and metagenomics studies to map their spatial distribution, community composition and metabolic capabilities.
- In addition, phylogenetic and physiological studies will be conducted on newly isolated bacteria and cyanobacteria, known to be present and highly abundant in the region from previous metagenomics analyses.
Your tasks will be organized to design two complementary theses:
- Participation to field campaigns to the Antarctic. The first campaign is planned for Dec. 2017 – Jan. 2018 and includes sample collection for DNA and RNA analyses, mapping of soil crusts using drones and in situ measurements (i.a. PAM fluorometry), setting up and maintaining of field experiments.
- Library preparation for amplicon and shotgun based metagenomics and subsequent bioinformatics data analysis.
- Isolation, cultivation, phenotyping and genotyping of Polar microorganisms using a range of growth conditions.
- Analysis and interpretation of remote sensing data and georeferencing and mapping of sampling locations.
Profile of the candidate
- You hold a Master’s degree in Sciences: Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Biology, or a discipline that is declared admissible by the selection committee, or an equivalent degree.
- You preferably have practical experience in the isolation, cultivation, characterization and/or preservation of microbial strains.
- You have a strong interest in bioinformatics, (multivariate) statistics and remote sensing analysis.
- A good knowledge of R and/or a scripting language is an asset.
- You have a good physical and mental condition to participate to field campaigns.
- Having field experience from Polar or Alpine regions is an asset.
- You have good communication skills and have a very good knowledge of written and spoken English.
- You like to carry out outreach activities.
- You combine being a team player with a strong sense of autonomy, responsibility and initiative.