Job announcement
Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, University of Würzburg

PhD - Floral Microbiome Ecology

Application deadline: 15.3.2017
[printable version .pdf]

Floral Microbiome Ecology PhD student position — April/May 2017 for 3 years

Within a collaborative framework between Würzburg (A. Keller, S. Leonhardt) and Salzburg (R.R. Junker) the bacterial associates of flowers will be investigated, with focus on the influence of landuse intensity on natural microbiota. The project will be part of the German Biodiversity Exploratories Network ( and in close interaction with a related bee microbiome project. Tasks of the project will be conducting field work, NGS-based microbiome assessments, bacterial cultivation, bioassays, chemical analyses and genomics.

Project description: Although flowers are directly linked to plant fitness and reproduction, bacterial colonizers of the anthosphere are less well characterized and understood compared to such associated with leaves or roots. We will investigate the organismal, functional, and genetic α-, β- and γ- diversity of floral microbiota as a function of land use, plant diversity, and functional flower traits to understand links between these levels of diversity.

Primary requirement is strong interest and motivation in conducting biodiversity research on a metagenomic, molecular level. Further, applicants must have a MSc/ Diplom (DE) related to one of:

  • Metagenomics
  • Community ecology
  • Pollination ecology
  • Chemical ecology
  • NextGen-Sequencing
  • DNA-Barcoding
  • Bioinformatics
  • Microbial biochemistry
  • Microbial cultivation

The successful candidates must be willing to become acquainted with these topics during the projects, as well as scientific writing in english.

Salary & Conditions
According to public service positions in Germany (TVL E13: 65%) for three years. The University of Würzburg is an equal opportunity employer, i.e. female scientists are particularly encouraged to apply and disabled applicants will be preferentially considered in case of equivalent aptitude. We offer membership in friendly and ambitious young research work groups, as part of a vivid ecological department.

Applications and further information
Please send your application via eMail to Dr. Alexander Keller (a.keller@biozentrum.uniwuerzburg. de) as a single PDF document until 15. March 2017. Applications should include a cover letter, a short summary of research interests, CV, certificates, and contacts of two potential referees.

© 20.02.2017 Deutsche Zoologische Gesellschaft e.V., DZG