Postdoc in Molecular Microbial Ecology of Ice environments, Aarhus University, Campus Roskilde

Postdoc in Molecular Microbial Ecology of Ice environments, Aarhus University, Campus Roskilde

Aarhus University, Campus Roskilde

Roskilde, Denmark

The Department of Environmental Science at Aarhus University, Roskilde, Denmark invites applications for a two-year postdoc position in Molecular Microbial Ecology to strengthen and expand the research capability in the Cryo-Microbiology group. The position is to be filled as soon as possible, subject to negotiation.

The Department of Environmental Science
The Department of Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary department under the Faculty of Science & Technology at Aarhus University. The expertise ranges from physics, chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology and mathematical modelling to social science, geography, economics and policy analysis. Both basic and applied research is conducted on some of the major challenges facing society, such as pollution and bioremediation, management of land, soil, water, air and biodiversity, protection of ecosystem services, climate change, and energy systems. Science-based policy advice within these areas is offered to ministries and other stakeholders. Currently, about 145 staff and PhD-students are working at the department. Further information can be found at

The selected candidate will be affiliated with the Section for Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology and should contribute to the section's scientific environment. The section conducts research and science-based policy advice targeted towards the understanding of the fate and role of microorganisms in ecosystems and interactions between bacteria, virus, fungi, protozoa and microeukaryotes in glacial, terrestrial, aquatic and atmospheric environments and in mammal guts. Expertise within the section includes:
  • Glacial Microbiology
  • Microbiology in air, soil, ice, rhizosphere, and animal gut
  • Microbial and microeukaryotic genetics and diversity
  • Microbial and protist ecology
  • Bacteriophages
  • eDNA analysis and use in environmental monitoring
  • Antibiotic resistance and pathogenicity
  • Biodegradation of persistent organic pollutants
  • Plant-microbe interactions

Description of the position
Active algae, fungi, bacteria and viruses dominate in glacial environments and they can change the physical and chemical characteristics of the ice and snow. For instance, the presence of algae growing on glaciers reduces the albedo of the ice surface. Together with anthropogenic black carbon and mineral debris inputs, they absorb sunlight on the surface of the ice, substantially increasing ice melting during the summer. Only very recently, they have been considered as an important cause for the recent darkening experienced by the Greenland ice sheet in the past 20 years. The position involves contributing to new knowledge about the diversity and mechanisms of adaptation of ice microorganisms with particular focus on the ice algae.

Specifically, the selected candidate is expected to:
  • Contribute to ongoing research projects in Arctic environments with environmental genetics and bioinformatics.
  • Further develop and consolidate the research area of molecular microbial ecology in glacial environments within the department. It is particularly beneficial if the candidate has experience with algal genomes.
  • Actively contribute to attraction of external funding together with senior staff and also as PI.
  • The main responsibilities is research (including publication/academic dissemination duties), organization and participate in fieldwork in Greenland and contribute to running of the bio-molecular facilities in the section.

Qualification requirements
  • The position requires a background with skills of genetic analysis and bioinformatics as well as understanding of ecology; e.g. molecular biology and ecology, biotechnology, or microbial ecology supplemented with acquired competences of bioinformatics analysis.
  • Documented experience with analysis of DNA and RNA, both at the molecular level including Next Generation Sequencing of metagenome and metatranscriptome as well as amplicon sequencing of targeted organisms, bioinformatics and statistical analysis.
  • Applicants should as a minimum hold scientific qualifications equivalent to the PhD graduate level showing evidence of a strong and ambitious research oriented profile and an emerging publication record within molecular microbial ecology.
  • Applicants should have excellent written and oral communication skills in English.
  • The candidate is expected to be enthusiastic about working in an interdisciplinary academic environment.
  • Experience in Arctic research is desired, but not essential if the candidate is a highly motivated scientist who is comfortable working in teams and be prepared to undertake fieldwork in remote regions and under difficult conditions.

Work location
The place of work will be at Aarhus University, Campus Risø outside Roskilde, Denmark.
Work adress is Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000 Roskilde. The city of Roskilde ( is located 35 km from Copenhagen. The area provides immediate access to a wealth of cultural and recreational pursuits.

International candidates may find information concerning living and working in Denmark at AU International Center offers a full range of services to make your transition to Denmark as smooth as possible (, and the department will assist foreign candidates with finding a suitable place to live.

More information
The application must be in written in English. Guidelines for filing the application may be found here. The application itself should contain a short letter of intent, a 1-2 page description of research expertise and future research plans.

Further information may be obtained by contacting Prof. Alexandre Anesio (; +4587158736) or Head of Section, Dr. Anders Johansen (; +4587158586).

We speak English on a daily basis at the department.

Application procedure
Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications – and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the appointment committee if necessary, – the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. All applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and each applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that concerns him/her self. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants, including the main considerations emphasized during the selection process.

Formalities and salary range
Science and Technology refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities.

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners. Read more here. Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here.

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here.

Aarhus University
Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 39,000 students (FTEs) and 8,000 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 884 million. Learn more at

Application Deadline:

31 March 2019

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: Aarhus University-aarhus_university-52579