Two PhD students are recruited to work in the BRAIN-BE project MICROBIAN at the Universities of Ghent and Liège, Belgium – including field campaigns in the Antarctic !

Project In the BelSPO funded MICROBIAN project (Microbiome diversity and function in the Sør Rondane Mountains, East Antarctica), coordinated by the Laboratory of Protistology and Aquatic Ecology, remote sensing analysis of soil crusts in a high latitude cold desert will be combined with field experiments and metagenomics studies to map their spatial distribution, community composition and metabolic capabilities. In addition, phylogenetic and physiological studies will be conducted on newly isolated bacteria and cyanobacteria, known to be present and highly abundant in the region from previous metagenomics analyses.

Your tasks will be organized to design two complementary theses:

  1. Participation to field campaigns to the Antarctic. The first campaign is planned for Dec. 2017 – Jan. 2018 and includes sample collection for DNA and RNA analyses, mapping of soil crusts using drones and in situ measurements (i.a. PAM fluorometry), setting up and maintaining of field experiments.
  2. Library preparation for amplicon and shotgun based metagenomics and subsequent bioinformatics data analysis.
  3. Isolation, cultivation, phenotyping and genotyping of Polar microorganisms using a range of growth conditions.
  4. Analysis and interpretation of remote sensing data and georeferencing and mapping of sampling locations.

Deadline for applications is 28 May 2017.

Visit the Euraxess webpage of this job offer for more information.

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