2 PhD position in plant microbiota research

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    University of Tuebingen
    Agricultural sciences
    Biological sciences
    Environmental scienceEcology
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    20/09/2018 23:00 - Europe/Athens
    Germany › Tübingen

2 PhD Positions with a focus on bioinformatics and microbiology in the framework of the priority program “Deconstruction and Reconstruction of the Plant Microbiota”.


Project 1:The core microbiota and its heritability in the context of the plant holobiont in natural ecosystems

Project 2:Investigating mechanisms by which yeast-like fungi interact with the plant microbiota


We are an interdisciplinary group that bridges between microbiology, plant sciences and ecology, with a strong focus on computational biology. Therefore, we are part of the Center for Plant Molecular Biology (ZMBP)as well as the Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine Tübingen (IMIT)and we are closely linked to the department of Evolution and Ecology (EvE). Our main focus is to understand fundamental mechanisms that shape microbial communities from a stochastic input to a well-defined host-associated microbial community. Our main expertise’s are in microbiology, molecular biology and bioinformatics.


Background / Objectives

Our focus is to unravel mechanisms in plant-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions that shape microbial community networks and impact their heritability. For this, we have established the ecological relevant model plant Lotus corniculatus, an important species of European grasslands with a broad ecological amplitude that enables deep insights into host associated microbial communities under natural conditions (project 1), and the model plant Arabidopsis thalianato study molecular mechanisms of interactions within microbial networks (project 2). We have already accessed a significant number of microbial isolates covering bacteria, fungi and protists that will enable in depth functional analyses for ecologically relevant traits. Using various high throughput sequencing techniques, we are characterizing microbial diversity and microbial functions and using statistical approaches to infer community structures. Models built from these data are used to generate hypotheses which are tested using reconstitution biology in gnotobiotic systems to recreate microbial networks in the laboratory. Our approaches are combined with plant genetics to identify molecular mechanisms relevant for formation and structuring microbial communities in the context of a holobiont.


The selected candidates will use a combination of molecular biology, microbiology, genetics and computational biology. The candidates will be involved in sampling trips in the field, processing of samples for sequencing and computational data analyses, as well as microbial reconstitution assays. Methods will be adapted and developed according to needs for rigorously testing inferred hypotheses.



The ideal applicant will have some background in bioinformatics, molecular biology / microbiology and microbial ecology. A background in plant-microbial interactions is welcomed but not required. We seek highly motivated applicants that have extensive experience in at least one of these fields and basic knowledge in the others. Candidates with knowledge of a scripting language, experience in R and statistics background are preferred.


Payment / Position

The PhD positions are available from December 01, 2018. Salary and benefits are commensurate with public service organization rules (TVöD). The University of Tübingen is an equal opportunity employer. Their goal is to enhance the percentage of women where they are underrepresented. Women, therefore, are especially encouraged to apply. The university is committed to employing more handicapped people. Applications of handicapped people are particularly welcome.



For questions concerning the projects please contact Dr. Juliana Almario (juliana.almario@uni-tuebingen.de) or Prof. Eric Kemen (eric.keme@uni-tuebingen.de)


Please email an application letter clearly stating which project you are applying for (further details on the projects can be found on our webpage), including curriculum vitae, list of publications, a statement of research interests, and arrange for minimum two academic letters of recommendation to be sent by email no later than September 20th, 2018 to:


Marion Jackson

Universität Tübingen

ZMBP / Microbial Interactions

Auf der Morgenstelle 32

D-72076 Tübingen / Germany

Phone: +49-(0)7071/29-76676

E-mail: marion.jackson@zmbp.uni-tuebingen.de

2 position(s) available at
University of Tuebingen
Auf der Morgenstelle

EURAXESS Angebots-ID: 331594


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