Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is regularly ranked as one of the world’s top 100 higher education institutions. The University has 41 000 students and 7 500 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.
The Faculty of Science conducts research and education within Biology, Astronomy, Physics, Geosciences, Chemistry, Mathematics and Environmental Sciences. The Faculty is organized into ten departments, gathered in the northern campus area. The Faculty has approximately 1900 students, 330 PhD students and 700 employees.

Project description

The aim of the PhD project is to provide knowledge of the functional diversity of microorganisms in soils by identifying key microbial actors in carbon cycling in agriculture under climate change. This will increase the current resolution of the mechanisms of carbon cycling during land use and climate change, as well as identifying functions that are impaired at intensification of agricultural management and extreme climate events. Previously it has not been feasible to study functions by soil microorganisms involved in the carbon cycle at a high resolution due to the complexity of natural microbial communities in soils and lack of methods. Though here we will apply our novel technique called sequence capture to analyse the identity, presence and activity of around 400,000 genes involved in the degradation of soil organic matter in soils.

The proposed PhD project will be integrated into a new Biodiversa project that starts 2017 (Managing soil biodiversity and ecosystem services in agroecosystems across Europe under climate change SOILCLIM) and is a collaboration among five European partners. The project will address the impact of altered precipitation patterns and declining soil carbon on soil biodiversity of a number of organism groups and associated ecosystem functions that can be problematic for farming given the projected summer drought trends throughout Europe. The PhD project will use field experiments in Sweden, Germany and Spain, which simulate summer droughts to increase understanding of the links between soil biodiversity on microbial genetic level and multiple ecosystem functions across large spatial scales. The student will focus on the functional diversity of soil microorganisms in relation to the drought experiments by applying the sequence capture method to identify key functional genes and the organisms behind the genes. The student will also work with another three PhD students in the project and will be included in all networking activities in the project.

Required qualifications

Applicants should have a Master’s degree or equivalent in molecular biology or similar areas, and preferably with competences in soil ecology. Further skills in metagenomics and bioinformatics or skills that show experience in use of handling large data sets are qualifying for the position. Lab experience with applications of DNA/RNA extractions will give added value. The applicant should have good laboratory practices, be able to apply relevant ecological theories and be able to plan and fulfil the PhD studies according to plans. The project will involve teamwork and will require good collaborative skills, but the applicant should also be able to work alone. The applicant should be fluent in English.

The application should include a curriculum vitae, transcript from university studies where the courses appear, a cover letter (1 page maximum) describing the experience and interest of research and interest in this project. Contact information (e-mail) of two personal references are required.

Eligibility
Students with basic eligibility for third-cycle studies are those who- have completed a second-cycle degree- have completed courses of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are from second-cycle courses, or- have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad.

The employment of doctoral students is regulated in the Swedish Code of Statues 1998: 80. Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. When an appointment to a doctoral studentship is made, the ability of the student to benefit from PhD-studies shall primarily be taken into account. In addition to devoting themselves to their studies, those appointed to doctoral studentships may be required to work with educational tasks, research and administration, in accordance with specific regulations in the ordinance.

Type of employment
Limit of tenure, four years according to HF 5 kap 7§.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.
Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100 %
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2016/4614
Contact

Katarina Hedlund, professor, 046- 222 37 98, [email protected]

Union representative

OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62, [email protected]
SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64, [email protected]
SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-222 93 66, [email protected]

Published 14.Dec.2016