PhD position for anaerobic microbiology of the Black Sea

Gepubliceerd op
8 mei 2018
Locatie Wageningen
Expertisegebied Natural Sciences
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We are looking for

This project is part of the Gravitation Research Program SIAM - Soehngen Institute of Anaerobic Microbiology ( The PhD project will be developed at the Laboratory of Microbiology at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ).
The aim of this PhD project is to study the metabolism of methylated compounds in the water column and sediments of the Black Sea. Microbial interactions between the different trophic groups in these zones, regarding the metabolism of methanol, methylamines, and methylsulfides will be analysed. Assimilation of methylated compounds in marine environments has not yet been thoroughly investigated. Findings obtained within this PhD project will result in a better understanding of carbon, sulfur and nitrogen cycling in the Black Sea.
The PhD student will be able to join a scientific cruise to the Black Sea (August) and collect samples for his/her research. Research at NIOZ will focus on the analysis of metagenomes of water/sediment samples, while research at the Laboratory of Microbiology will focus on the isolation and physiology of novel microorganisms in these samples. The final goal is to have a better understanding of the ecological importance of different metabolic groups (methanogens, acetogens) in the Black Sea anoxic zones.

Diana Z. Sousa and Alfons J.M.Stams (WUR); Laura Villanueva and Jaap Damsté (NIOZ)

We ask

We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD candidate with a good background on microbiology, strong motivation, good communication skills and ability for teamwork and cooperation.

- Master in Biology, Biotechnology or Microbiology.
- Knowledge of molecular methods and microbial physiology is essential
- Experience in data analysis using bioinformatics tools is an advantage.
- Fluency in English (both spoken and written).

We offer

We offer you the opportunity to obtain your PhD in 4 years by giving you a temporary position for a period of 1.5 years with extension of 2.5 years after successful evaluation. Gross salary per month € 2222,- in the first year rising up to € 2840,- per month in the fourth year. 

We not only offer a competitive salary but also good (study) leave and a pension of the ABP Pension Fund.

More information

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Diana Z. Sousa, associate professor,  telephone number +31 317483107.
For more information about the contractual aspects, please contact Mrs. J. van Meurs, HR advisor, telephone number +31 317480101.

You can apply online at until the 30th of May 2018.

Please submit:
- motivation letter, including interests, and strong scientific abilities,
- curriculum vitae including degree certificates, abstract of master thesis,
- a minimum of two references we can contact directly.

Interested candidates should submit their application containing the above mentioned documents in one PDF file at
Review of applications will be done mid of June or until an optimal candidate is selected.

We are

We are the group of Microbial Physiology within the laboratory of Microbiology of Wageningen University.
The Laboratory of Microbiology is engaged in research and education in biotransformations and interactions of microorganisms as well as their control. Moreover, it contributes to the exploitation of the generated knowledge in the application areas of Health & Food, Bioproducts & Energy and Environment & Sustainability. Microbial physiology group is especially interested in microbial transformations in anoxic conditions with strong interest in syntrophy, reductive respiratory processes and bioproduction of interesting molecules.

The Agrotechnology & Food Sciences Group is part of Wageningen University & Research where fundamental and applied sciences complement each other. As an important European player, we carry out top-level research and work alongside authoritative partners within the international business world as well as the government on “Healthy food in a biobased society”. We have a crucial role in innovations within the market. Entrepreneurship and professionalism are what define us. In short, we are an interesting, international employer of stature.

Wageningen University & Research
Delivering a substantial contribution to the quality of life. That's our focus – each and every day. Within our domain, healthy food and living environment, we search for answers to issues affecting society – such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. Of course, we don’t do this alone. Every day, 5000 people work on ‘the quality of life’, turning ideas into reality, on a global scale.

We are collaborating with the Department of Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry (MMB) at the royal NIOZ which studies microbial communities in all types of marine environments, from estuaries to the deep ocean. The MMB department uses field and experimental approaches to the diversity, physiology and activity of eukaryotic phytoplankton (algae), prokaryotes (cyanobacteria, archaea and bacteria) and viruses in diverse marine environmental settings. More information about NIOZ and the MMB department can be found in here and

Could you be one of these people? We give you the space you need.

For further information about working at Wageningen University & Research, take a look at

Acquisition regarding this vacancy is not appreciated.