PhD Position DTU Technical University of Denmark

Ph.D. Scholarship in disease-free production of European flat oysters at DTU, Denmark


Ph.D. Scholarship in disease-free production of European flat oysters is available for a master’s degree in marine biology, Aquaculture at the DTU Aqua, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark 2022


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General Info

Position: PhD
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: ,
Deadline to Apply: Expired
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: 3 Years
Salary: According to standard norms

DTU Aqua

Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Denmark


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Qualification Details

You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

Your desired traits and skills:

  • Curiosity and high motivation for marine research.
  • Accuracy and patience for laboratory work.
  • Strong knowledge of basic marine biology.
  • Experience in laboratory work, aquaculture system and field work.
  • Analytical skills, experience in genetic and statistical analysis.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills in English.
  • Ability to work independently and be flexible.
  • Capacity to travel between your main working place in Nykøbing Mors and the DTU Aqua facility in Lyngby for short stays.

Responsibilities/Job Description

At DTU’s National Institute of Aquatic Resources, we offer a 3-year PhD student position with focus on disease-free production of the European flat oyster (Ostrea edulis) in our newly built low trophic species hatchery and nursery (learn more about the hatchery) located at the Danish Shellfish Centre in Nykøbing Mors. You will be employed in the Section for Coastal Ecology and work together with the national reference laboratory of Denmark for molluscs disease. During your scholarship, you will gain scientific expertise in marine biology, shellfish pathology, physiology, environmental interactions, water monitoring, ecosystem services, bivalve fishery and aquaculture including optimized culture practice methods for European flat oyster production and how to make management recommendations.

Your PhD project will provide tools and protocols for upscaling disease-free production of European flat oysters. Flat oyster is a charismatic key organism in European waters providing ecosystem goods and services. Its populations have declined in the last decades due to climate change, overexploitation, and disease. In the Danish context, management and a regulated fishery have allowed a sustainable exploitation of the stocks, however, recent development in the wild oyster stock of the Bonamia ostreae disease implies new management measures. Some major bottlenecks in flat oyster restoration in Europe comprise large scale production of disease-free spat and ensuring genetic diversity. In your project, you will build on existing knowledge developed at DTU Aqua regarding stable production of spat, and broodstock genetic diversity by acquiring new scientific expertise to produce disease-free spat on large scale for both aquaculture and restoration. You will study the interaction between oyster and pathogen, run disease challenges, use molecular biology tools, and develop monitoring and biosecurity measures.

Responsibilities and qualificationsYou will be responsible for conducting experimental research on flat oyster infection with Bonamia ostreae to secure disease-free flat oyster hatchery production from broodstock to spat, to upscale flat oyster spat production for both aquaculture and restoration. You will focus on developing non-lethal methods for testing for Bonamia in flat oysters and evaluate their impacts on the seed production and oyster physiology.

Your responsibility and tasks will be to:

  • Plan and complete laboratory experiments and work following the reproduction cycle of European flat oyster and respecting biosecurity measures.
  • Contribute to the daily routine and work tasks of the section, incl. feed and maintain the oysters, data collection in the hatchery and in the field of water quality.
  • Liaise with and advise the competent authorities to certify Bonamia free flat oyster production in Denmark.
  • Complete various PhD school courses and external stays to develop and expand your expertise.
  • Disseminate scientific results in peer-reviewed articles and assist in scientific advice to Danish ministries.
  • Attend conferences to present your research and expand your academic network.

How to Apply?

Application Method: Online Application
Ref. No.: -

Application Procedure

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma including official description of grading scale
  • Brief research proposal (1-2 pages) outlining ideas in terms of addressing the research topics provided in the short description of the PhD project above. Candidates are encouraged to include relevant references to support their research proposal.

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

About the Department/Section/Group

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see DTU's rules for the PhD education.


An assessment of the applicants will be made by Senior Researcher Camille Saurel, Senior Researcher Lone Madsen and Head of Section Professor Jens Kjerulf Petersen.

About the Employer:

Note or Other details

You can read more about DTU Aqua at; Section for Coastal Ecology at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.

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Contact details

Further information may be obtained from Senior Researcher Camille Saurel at DTU Aqua, ph. +45 61 15 01 62; email: [email protected]

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