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PhD Thesis in Geomicrobiology/Microbial Biogeochemistry (Tübingen) PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 14 October 2010 00:04

PhD Thesis in Geomicrobiology/Microbial Biogeochemistry

The research group for Geomicrobiology at the Institute for Geosciences at the University of Tuebingen is looking for a PhD student working for 3 years on

‘Identity and ecology of magnetite-forming bacteria – application for assessment of hydrocarbon contamination in the environment

During microbial oxidation of Fe(II) and reduction of Fe(III), Fe minerals are dissolved, transformed or formed. Magnetite (Fe3O4) is a magnetic Fe(II)-Fe(III)-mineral and can be formed both by microbial Fe(II) oxidation and Fe(III) reduction. Since microbial iron redox transformation is strongly influenced by the presence of contaminants (e.g. hydrocarbons), it was suggested that magnetic properties can be used to delineate anthropogenic contamination accumulating in soil and sediments. Magnetic proxy screening may therefore serve as a fast and cost-effective, qualitative or semi-quantitative, tool for initial site characterization and for repeated measurements to observe the evolution of pollution (monitoring). However, the mechanisms & conditions controlling the reductive and oxidative (trans-)formation of magnetic minerals are not known in detail but need to be understood in order to apply magnetic measurements for assessment of environmental contamination.

The proposed interdisciplinary research project will be done in close collaboration with the research group for Geophysics at the University of Tübingen and aims at identifying the conditions under which magnetite is formed and transformed using field studies and laboratory experiments. Geochemical analyses (e.g. by wet-chemistry and chromatography), mineralogical studies (e.g. XRD, Mössbauer spectroscopy, magnetic measurements) and microbiological approaches (cultivation dependent and independent techniques including molecular ecological analyses based on DNA/RNA techniques, e.g., DGGE, qPCR, clone libraries) will be used to study sediments collected at a former military base. The redox conditions, iron mineralogy, and magnetic properties will be determined at the field site. Aerobic and anaerobic Fe(II)-oxidizing as well as Fe(III)-reducing bacteria will be localized, quantified, isolated and identified and iron mineral (in particular magnetite) formation by the isolated s!
trains will be determined.

We offer a PhD position in an interdisciplinary, international, young and dynamic team of microbiologists, geochemists and environmental geoscientists. This position provides an opportunity to bring in the candidate’s own creativity and self-responsibility. Not only will you learn and apply various lab techniques, but you will also practice and improve your ability to discuss and present problems and results in a friendly atmosphere.

You should have a background in environmental sciences, (geo-)chemistry or microbiology and like working in a team in an interdisciplinary field. Applicants should have good communication skills and be highly motivated and committed to pursuing interdisciplinary research particularly focusing on environmental issues. Good computer and language skills (English) are advantageous. The studentship will be funded by the University of Tuebingen at TVL E13 (50%). The start date is January 2011 or as soon as possible thereafter. The employment will be arranged by the administration of the University of Tuebingen. We particularly encourage female applicants to apply for this position. Disabled persons will be preferred in case of equal qualification.

Please send your application by email before November 15th (2010) to:
Prof. Andreas Kappler, University of Tuebingen, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Phone: 07071-2974992; www.ifg.uni-tuebingen.de/departments/zag/geomicrobiology.



Marion Schäffling
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Institut für Geowissenschaften

Ansprechpartner: Prof. Andreas Kappler, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



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