PhD Fellowship on Comparative Fungal Metabolomics University of Copenhagen, Department of Biology Denmark

PhD Fellowship on Comparative Fungal Metabolomics

 

A three-year PhD fellowship on comparative metabolomics and insecticidal properties of Podaxis basidiomycete fungi is available from February 1, 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter, at the Section of Ecology and Evolution within the Department of Biology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

 

The fellowship will be part of a four-year research project titled "Solutions to Extreme Life in a Global Fungus”, financed by The Danish Council for Independent Research | Natural Sciences to Associate Professor Michael Thomas-Poulsen (https://www1.bio.ku.dk/english/staff/?pure=en/persons/227714). The project is based in Thomas-Poulsen’s research group on Social and Symbiotic Evolution (https://www.socialsymbioticevolution.com/), with Thomas-Poulsen as main advisor, and Dr. Benjamin Conlon (https://www1.bio.ku.dk/english/staff/?pure=en/persons/455749) and Assistant Professor Christine Beemelmanns (https://www.leibniz-hki.de/en/institut-staff-details.html?member=87), as co-advisors. The project will involve comparative metabolomics of selected Podaxis species and developing and implementing protocols for insecticidal testing of identified compounds/compound mixes. The successful candidate should have training in biochemistry or natural product chemistry and have some experience in basic microbiology. 

 

Project abstract 

Adaptations to abiotic and biotic conditions through natural selection is a cornerstone in the evolution of life, but our understanding of adaptations to harsh conditions in fungi remains sparse. This is especially so for the basidiomycetes, despite their importance in natural ecosystems and for humans. The genus Podaxis is a promising model to elucidate basidiomycete adaptations to harsh environments, because species in this genus have evolved solutions to extreme abiotic and biotic conditions: desert species survive extreme drought and species growing from termite nests avoid antagonism from the insects during exploitation of termite resources. This project involves a complementary international group that will carry out comparative genomics, characterisations of genes of adaptive importance, and identification of putative insecticides in Podaxis, with the ultimate goal to provide fundamental insights into our understanding of fungal adaptations. 

 

Qualifications 

a) An MSc in biology, biochemistry or chemistry 

b) Experience with general microbiology and fungus culturing. 

c) Experience with chemical analyses such as LC-MS, UV-spectrum and NMR analyses. 

d) An interest in natural product discovery from fungi. 

e) Creativity and ability to be both team-oriented and independent. 

f) Embrace of an international research environment and interdisciplinary research. 

g) A proven record of excellent English speaking, reading and writing skills. 

 

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 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 https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/. 

 

Place of employment and principal place of work 

University of Copenhagen, Department of Biology, Section for Ecology and Evolution, Universitetsparken 15, Building 3, DK-2100 Copenhagen East. The University of Copenhagen provides a top-notch research environment and the city of Copenhagen provides a vibrant cultural scene.   

 

Terms of employment 

The successful candidate will be offered a full-time position for a period of three years, contingent on a satisfactory performance, with the specific intent that it results in production of scientific publications. Terms of appointment and payment according 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 322,642 (approx. €43,015) including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 44,567). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible. Further information can be obtained from Dr Thomas-Poulsen (e-mail: mpoulsen@bio.ku.dk).  

 

How to apply 

Applications must include: (1) a cover letter, (2) statement of research interests and reasons for applying to this position (max 2 pages), (3) curriculum vitae (including a list of publications if applicable), (4) copies of relevant diplomas (Master of Science), and (5) the names, e-mails, telephone numbers and addresses of 3 referees. In addition to the fulfilment of the above-mentioned qualifications, the main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant, the match with the project, and good interpersonal skills. 

 

Applications should be sent electronically by clicking “APPLY NOW" below. 

 

Deadline for application is December 15, 2018, 23:59 GMT+1.  

Applications received after the deadline, not using the online application form, or not including the required documents will not be considered. 

 

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


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