PhD student - Microbiome of biological soil crusts (f/m/d)

Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health (HMGU)

Neuherberg (bei München), Germany

Work group:

Research Unit Comparing Microbiome Analysis

Area of research:

PHD Thesis

Starting date:


Contract time limit:


Job description:

As German Research Center for Environmental Health, Helmholtz Zentrum München pursues the goal of developing personalized medical approaches for the prevention and therapy of major common diseases such as diabetes mellitus, allergies and lung diseases. To achieve this, it investigates the interaction of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle.

At our institute you will find a scientifically stimulating international environment. Together with renowned scientists and supported by an excellent infrastructure you make an important contribution to the improvement of people’s quality of life.

The mission of the Research Unit Comparative Microbiome Analysis (COMI) is a sustainable use of genetic resources of microbes from different environments including human, animal, soil and plants. One project of COMI is part of the "Biodiversity Exploratories" and funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG). The project will be conducted in close collaboration with our project partners at the University of Rostock Dr. Karin Glaser and Prof. Dr. Ulf Karsten.

Therefore, the working group "Soil Microbiomes" of COMI is looking for a highly motivated

PhD student – Microbiome of biological soil crusts (f/m/d)

Your mission

The PhD candidate will investigate the effect of land use intensity on the structure and function of biological soil crusts by applying a combination of different cutting edge technologies like metagenomic sequencing approaches, stable isotope probing and NanoSIMS:

Execution of sampling campaigns for microbiome analyses in collaboration with project partnersExecution of greenhouse experiments for stable isotope probing and NanoSIMS analysisCharacterization of the present and active microbial community in biological soil crusts from disturbed and undisturbed forest plots across Germany by applying next generation sequencing techniques and qPCR analysis on RNA and DNA levelData analysis and visualizationRegular publication, reporting and presentation of results

 Your qualification

Master of Science in Biology, Microbial Ecology or equivalentInterest or even knowledge about microbial soil ecology, nutrient turnover and basic soil chemical analysis is desirableExcellent experience in the laboratory and the application of molecular methods (DNA/RNA extraction, PCR, next generation sequencing of soil microbiomes, cultivation of soil microbes, microscopy) is mandatoryExpertise in standard bioinformatic tools for the analysis of microbiome sequencing data and statistical analysis (preferably with R) is expectedHigh motivation for the own project/thesis, for working independently and for working in an interdisciplinary and intercultural teamDriver’s licence category BGood German and very good English writing and oral skillsFirst experiences in using UNIX based operating software is helpful

What we offer you

A challenging and versatile field of work providing you with the freedom to follow your instinct and be creative. With the help of extensive and goal-orientated professional development measures and career-building programmes we encourage you to grow as a person. To ensure a good work/life balance we assist you with flexible working hours, in-house health management, a nursery, and an “Elder Care” concept as well as other consultation and support options.

This position also provides the opportunity for you to build specialist knowledge and collect significant professional experience, both of which will help advance your scientific career.

Munich, with its numerous lakes and its vicinity to the Alps, is considered to be one of the cities with the best quality of life worldwide. With its first-class universities and research institutes it offers an intellectually stimulating environment.

Remuneration and benefits are in accordance with the collective agreement for the public service (EG 13 50% TV EntgO Bund). In addition, there is also the possibility of granting an allowance amounting to 15% if the necessary conditions are fulfilled.

The position is (initially) limited to three years.

Having been awarded the "Total E-Quality" seal we endorse a system of equal opportunities. Applications from women are especially welcome. Severely disabled candidates are given preference if they are of equal merit concerning the position in question.

Curious? If you have further questions, simply contact Dr. Stefanie Schulz on 089 3187-3054, who will be happy to be of assistance.

We are looking forward to receiving your comprehensive online application (updated CV, statement of reseach interests and major accomplishments, certificates/transcripts) until 20/03/2020.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: 2020/0020