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PhD Project in Geomicrobiology/Biogeochemistry

Workscope: Research Associate

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PhD Project in Geomicrobiology/Biogeochemistry

The research group for Geomicrobiology at the University of Tübingen is looking for a PhD student who will work on:

‘Microbial electron transfer processes in biogeochemical cycles in soils and sediments‘

Microorganisms are key players in driving biogeochemical cycles in soils and sediments and redox reactions represent the basis of their metabolic activities. For reduction of solid-phase electron acceptors such as Fe(III) minerals, microorganisms have developed strategies to transfer the electrons released from cytoplasmic organic matter oxidation to the exterior of the cell. A variety of fascinating electron transfer strategies have been demonstrated to occur including close contact direct electron transfer, the development of conductive cellular appendices, so-called nanowires, and the use of redox-active organic molecules as electron shuttles.

This PhD project will determine under which conditions electron shuttling is occurring in the environment. This interdisciplinary project includes field work (sampling and isolation of natural organic matter) and laboratory experiments ranging from cultivation of microbes, synthesis and characterization of Fe(III) minerals, design of experimental setups, of use of voltammetric iron microelectrodes and chemical analysis of aqueous and solid phases using state of the art spectroscopic techniques such as Mössbauer Spectroscopy. The project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

We are offering a PhD position in an interdisciplinary, international, and dynamic team of geochemists, microbiologists, molecular ecologists, and geoscientists. This position provides an opportunity for the candidate to be creative and innovative, and to work on a challenging topic that combines various fields within environmental sciences. Ideal candidates should have a solid background in geochemistry, environmental microbiology and biogeochemistry. Applicants must have the ability to work independently and in a team, have excellent management and communication skills and should be highly motivated and committed to pursuing interdisciplinary research. Good computer and language skills (English) are necessary. The candidate will have the opportunity to present his/her results in international journals and conferences.

The starting date is May 1st 2016 or as soon as possible thereafter. The employment (TVL E13, 3 years) will be arranged by the administration of the University of Tübingen. Disabled persons will be preferred in case of equal qualification.

Applications including CV, motivation letter, and overview of techniques and methods used in the past should be send by email before March 27th 2016 to:
Prof. Dr. Andreas Kappler, Geomicrobiology group, Center for Applied Geosciences, University of Tübingen Sigwartstrasse 10, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany. Email: andreas.kappler@uni-tuebingen.de

More information including recent publications can be found on our website:

Contact detail

How to apply:
Applications including CV, motivation letter, and overview of techniques and methods used in the past should be send by email
Send application to
Prof. Dr. Andreas Kappler, Geomicrobiology group
Center for Applied Geosciences
University of Tübingen
Sigwartstrasse 10
D-72076 Tübingen

Email: andreas.kappler@uni-tuebingen.de

Job profile

Working hours
Contract duration
Type of job
PhD Project
Work experience
job experience is not required
Germany (Baden-Württemberg)
Working place
72076 Tübingen
Area of expertise
Geo Sciences, Biology & Life Sciences, Chemistry