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Doctoral position on Tracking bacterial motility and chemotaxis at ETHZurich, Switzerland, Oct 2022


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The Environmental Microfluidics Group of Professor Roman Stocker in the Institute of Environmental Engineering is seeking a dynamic and motivated doctoral student for a project on tracking the motility and chemotaxis of marine bacteria in response to resource hotspots.

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General Info

Position: PhD Position
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , , ,
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: Subject to Norms
Salary: Subject to norms

Environmental Microfluidics Group
ETH Zurich, Technoparkstrasse, Zürich, Switzerland

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Qualification Details

You will have strong quantitative skills, and a background in either physics, biophysics, bioengineering, or biology with a strong quantitative focus. You will be guided by PI Roman Stocker and by lab members with extensive laboratory experience in microbial ecology and behavioural experiments. The student will have the opportunity to work in a cutting-edge, fast-paced research environment, interact with researchers from many different disciplines, learn about fundamental biophysical and ecological processes in microorganisms, gain technical experience across diverse research approaches and interact with world-class collaborators.

Responsibilities/Job Description

The position is funded by a recently awarded Swiss National Science Foundation grant on “The ecological role of bacterial motility in the ocean” and will be based in the laboratory of Professor Roman Stocker (ETH Zurich).

Project background

Marine bacteria play a fundamental role in global biogeochemical cycles, contributing, among many other impacts, to the control of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and access to elements throughout marine trophic networks. Bacteria do this as a result of their microscale interactions with resources—for example marine snow particles and the nutrient-rich psychosphere surrounding phytoplankton—that are often transient and highly heterogeneous. Many marine bacteria use movement behaviour to forage in the ocean’s heterogeneous resource landscape, yet there remain fundamental open questions as to the forms, prevalence and ecological impact of motility and chemotaxis in marine bacteria.

As part of a wider project to understand the ecological role and biogeochemical consequences of bacterial motility and chemotaxis, the doctoral project aims to develop and employ cutting-edge laboratory techniques to quantify how bacteria use motility and chemotaxis in their interactions with resource hotspots. The student will be given the opportunity to focus on the interactions of bacteria with either marine snow particles or phytoplankton, both of which are central to the impact of bacteria on biogeochemical cycling and carbon storage in the oceans.

Job description

The student will have the opportunity to contribute to the development and application of cutting-edge approaches combining microfluidics, microscopy imaging, image analysis and data analysis to quantify the use of motility and chemotaxis by bacteria in complex resource landscapes.

How to Apply?

Application Method: Online Application
Ref. No.: -

Application Procedure

We look forward to receiving your online application including:

  • a CV
  • full transcripts from undergraduate studies (both Batchelor and Masters)
  • a brief (1-2 page) statement of research interests
  • and at least 2 (preferably 3) letters of reference

Review of applications will begin on September 10, 2022, with the position to start as soon as filled (negotiable). Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

About the Employer: ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Note or Other details

We offer

ETH Zurich is a family-friendly employer with excellent working conditions. You can look forward to an exciting working environment, cultural diversity and attractive offers and benefits.

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We value diversity

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

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Contact details

For questions regarding the position, please contact Joëlle Robinson by email at [email protected]

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Published on: | Last Updated: Sep 29, 2022 | at nViews Career by nViews Career Team