PhD fellow in Marine microbiology


A 3-year PhD position in marine microbial ecology is offered at the Marine Biological Section, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The position starts 1. April 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter and will be associated with the 4-year research project “Future stimulated nitrogen fixation: threatening the health of coastal ecosystems?” funded by Independent Research Fund Denmark. The project is a collaboration with scientists from University of Southern Denmark (Carolin Löscher), Aarhus University in Roskilde (Stiig Markager), the Baltic Sea research Institute, Warnemunde, Germany (Maren Voss), and Boston University, Rhode Island, USA (RW Fulweiler).

The import of nitrogen (N) through biological N2-fixation is essential for plankton productivity in vast areas of the global ocean. In fact, this conversion of N2 gas to ammonium available for growth is fuelling up to 50% of the new production in some regions. N2-fixation in Danish coastal waters has been largely overlooked and climate change is predicted to stimulate this activity. Important N2-fixing organisms likely include cyanobacteria advected from the Baltic Sea and heterotrophic bacteria. The aim of the overarching project is to determine the importance of benthic and pelagic N2-fixation in Danish marine regions, in the face of climate change.
Two PhD students will be employed within the project: one at University of Copenhagen (UCPH) focusing on pelagic processes, and one at the University of Southern Denmark focusing on benthic processes. The two students will collaborate closely with respect to sampling and sample analyses. The UCPH PhD student will focus on the magnitude and seasonality of N2-fixation in Danish coastal waters, molecular identification of the actively N2-fixing groups, and identification of the environmental conditions governing their fixation. The work will entail cutting-edge molecular, physiological, and biogeochemical approaches (Real-Time PCR, high-throughput sequencing, metagenomics, bioinformatics, and 15N tracer techniques, including nano-SIMS) in association with laboratory studies and field sampling. 

The successful candidate will become an integrated part of the research group of Lasse Riemann. The group works with many aspects of marine microbial ecology, but N2-fixation is a main research focus. The project will be carried out in the Marine Biological Section located in Helsingør, 30 km north of Copenhagen.

Principal supervisor is Professor Lasse Riemann, Marine Biological Section, Department of Biology, E-mail

Job description
The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are:

•    To manage and carry out your research project
•    To attend PhD courses
•    To write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
•    To teach and disseminate your research
•    To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad
•    To work for the department

We are looking for an enthusiastic and ambitious candidate with a MSc degree in biology/microbiology/molecular biology obtained by March 31, 2021. The position is open to both Danish and international applicants. Experience with marine microbial ecology and molecular biology is an asset. Good English language skills will be required. The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant; i.e. publications will be a strong asset.

The application must contain:
•    A letter of motivation for the application with statement of research interests (max 1 page)
•    A curriculum vitae (max 2 pages)
•    List of publications (if applicable)
•    Copy of Bachelor and Masters Diplomas and transcripts – other relevant certificates, including grades
•    A short abstract of the M.Sc. thesis or equivalent
•    1-3 reference letters (if any)

Please forward your application via the job portal of The University of Copenhagen at Job Portal. Press “APPLY NOW” below to fill in the application form. The deadline for the application is 2 February 2021, 23:59 GMT+1. 

Procedures and shortlisting
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. Afterwards an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee and the interview committee. 
The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant and the above mentioned skills. The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD school of Science. You can read more about the recruitment process at

Terms of employment 
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff. 

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 331,125 (approx. €43,750) including annual supplement (+ pension at a minimum DKK 53,811). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Applications received after the deadline, or with insufficient documentation or otherwise not complying with the above requirements, may not be considered. 

Further information 
For further information on the project contact Prof. Lasse Riemann (Email:, Ph.: +45 35321959). See also for information about the research group and its ongoing research

**Please do not post your application to this address**

General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at


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