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Available: 1 PhD position in marine phage ecology
Institut für Chemie und Biologie des Meeres (ICBM)
Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, 26111 Oldenburg

Project title: Distribution, metabolic capacities and phage-host interactions of the Roseobacter group in marine sediments
Principal Investigator: PD Dr. Bert Engelen (e-mail:
Duration: until Dec. 2021
Reimbursement: TV-L E13 / 65 %
Starting time: as soon as possible

Project description: This project is part of the Transregional Collaborative Research Center (TRR 51) "Roseobacter", which has the overarching goal to study the ecology, physiology and molecular biology of the Roseobacter clade. The TRR51 has been funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) for a 3rd phase of research until December 2021.

In the upcoming synthesis phase of the project, we will finalize our studies on the global distribution of benthic members of the Roseobacter group. One main topic of the project is the identification of relationships between benthic roseobacters and the associated roseophages. The PhD-student will perform phage-induction experiments with benthic isolates of the Roseobacter group and will analyse the phage genomes. She/he will further work on the detection and quantification of benthic roseophages in metagenomes, but also in the original samples by qPCR and phage FISH. The work will be done in close collaboration with a second PhD-student in the same subproject who is working on the physiology and distribution of the bacterial hosts. As both PhD-students depend on the genomic information of our benthic isolates, they will both be involved in genome analyses to (i) elucidate specific metabolic pathways that are essential for roseobacters to thrive at the seafloor and (ii) to search for prophages in the genomes.

The candidates for the position must fulfill the following requirements:

  • High motivation and high enthusiasm to work with isolates and temperate phages.
  • Academic university degree (Master of Science or equivalent) in Microbiology or related fields, obtained by the start date of the PhD position.
  • Laboratory experience in molecular techniques (extraction and purification of DNA and RNA, qPCR), cultivation techniques (monitoring of microbial growth, phage induction), UV- and electron microscopy.
  • Strong IT skills, experience with bioinformatics (including genome annotation), temperate phage prediction tools is a plus.
  • Fluency in English, experience in scientific writing.

The University of Oldenburg is dedicated to increasing the percentage of women in science. Therefore, female candidates are particularly encouraged to apply. In accordance with Lower Saxony legal regulations (NHG §21), equally qualified female candidates will be given preference. Applicants with disabilities will be employed preferentially if equally qualified.

Please send your application including a CV, a letter of motivation and a letter of recommendation preferably per e-mail in one document to or by post to: Dr. Bert Engelen, ICBM, University of Oldenburg, D-26111 Oldenburg.

Deadline: October 1st, 2018

Christina Oswald (Stand: 19.09.2018)