Harmful algal blooms formed by cyanobacteria (cyanoHABs) not only deteriorate ecosystem services but cause significant economic losses because of managing and treating drinking water and food supplies. Among those toxins, most prominent are the microcystins (and related peptides), i.e. by inhibiting eukaryotic protein phosphatases 1 and 2A of higher organisms. Intracellular toxic peptides can be released into the surrounding environment either through cell lysis or through active transport out of the cell.
One possibility to investigate cyanotoxins on the individual cell level is the so-called bioorthogonal labeling. In vivo labeling of cyanotoxins/peptides is based on the discovery of unspecific key enzymes involved in the synthesis pathway of those compounds which also can use non-natural functional groups as precursors. The resulting modified molecule is subsequently labeled by a fluorophore through a so-called click chemistry reaction. We will perform cyanotoxin/peptide labeling and high resolution imaging to localize, quantify and reveal inter/intracellular peptide storage and release using various isolates varying substantially in intra- and extracellular toxic peptide content (0-60% of the total content).
The tasks of this position will include (i) the integration of the data on cyanotoxin/peptide localization, and labeling of metabolites, (ii) experiments on strain-specific variation and stress-induced variation. The PhD candidate will be responsible for collecting the data on peptide localization using high resolution microscopy and further analysis using advanced imaging software, as well as to analyze the strain-specific and stress induced variation under controlled laboratory conditions.
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Further Information: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Rainer Kurmayer
Research Department for Limnology Mondsee, University of Innsbruck, Austria
For application please send a motivation letter together with a CV (in English) until 15 September 2019.
The aim of the project Eco-AlpsWater is to improve the traditional monitoring approaches used in the Alpine region (Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC-EU WFD and, in Switzerland, the Water Protection Ordinance-WPO) with advanced and innovative DNA sequencing techniques such as metabarcoding. The new approach will make use of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) to analyze environmental DNA in waterbodies (which allow rapid species identification at low costs, from fish to bacteria), and smart technologies (automation in data processing, data storage, information retrieval). Along with the identification of gaps in the monitoring approaches across the Alpine regions, the new technologies will allow to define improved experimental monitoring protocols to be applied in pilot areas partly linked to other ongoing alpine space projects (SPARE, Hymocares) and including large perialpine lakes as well as smaller waterbodies, and rivers.
The position will be financed for 3 years (30 working hours per week, 75 percent appointment) according to the collective labour agreement (Kollektivvertrag) of the Austrian Universities (2096.- Euro monthly salary, 14x per year). We are looking for a person holding a Master degree in Biology with experience in limnology (or comparable qualification), dedicated to apply metabarcoding approaches in fish communities (respectively other organism groups such as planktonic and benthic algae). Parts of the working activities (e.g. sampling and laboratory analysis) will be performed with partner organisations of the project, i.e. in Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany or Slovenia. Further activities will comprise metabarcoding data analysis, report writing, preparation of scientific manuscripts, as well as communication with project partners and observers. The registration of the PhD thesis in Biology at the University of Innsbruck and the administration within the new doctoral programme “Alpine Biology and Global Change” will be expected.
Further Information: Univ. Doz. Dr. Josef Wanzenböck & Assoc. Prof. Dr. Rainer Kurmayer, Research Department for Limnology Mondsee, University of Innsbruck
email: Josef.email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org. For application please send a motivation letter together with a CV (in English).
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