Postdoc position

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  • Published date: October 9, 2017
    • 9000, Belgium

Job description

Diatoms produce a wide array of secondary metabolites which are known to act as signaling molecules during different stages of their life cycle and are implicated in interactions with competitors, pathogens and herbivores. Integrated –omics approaches are making rapid progress in documenting the chemical nature of these molecules and the metabolic pathways they interact with.

This project builds on an ongoing, close collaboration between the lab of Protistology & Aquatic Ecology of Ghent University in Belgium (W. Vyverman, K. Sabbe) and the Institute for Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, Bioorganic Analytics lab of the Friederich Schiller University in Jena, Germany (G. Pohnert), which has already resulted in the identification of the first diatom pheromones (Gillard et al. Angew. Chemie 2013, Moeys et al. Sci Rep. 2016) and chemical cues involved in competitive interactions in biofilms (Vanelslander et al. PNAS 2012).

The successful candidate will design and perform experiments with cell lines of the model pennate diatoms Cylindrotheca and Seminavis in order to elucidate the identity and role of chemical cues in diatom life cycle regulation and ecological interactions. To this end, he/she will use a combination of behavioural and physiological studies with omics approaches (incl. genomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics). The candidate will closely collaborate with PhD students and researchers working on related topics. He/she will be responsible for the integration of different streams of –omics data and their analysis.

Profile of the candidate

We are looking for an ambitious, highly motivated and enthusiastic researcher with expertise in bioinformatics and a keen interest in the evolutionary biology of microorganisms. The ability to work in a team is a pre‐requisite, as well as a sound statistical background. Experience with developing of (conceptual) models would be an asset.
You hold a doctoral degree in Sciences: Biology, or a discipline that is declared admissible by the selection committee, or an equivalent degree. This means that, if your doctoral degree is issued by a non-European institution, you will have to obtain a recognition of equivalence by the Flemish government before the start of the appointment, see . The degree requirements need to be fulfilled at the start of your appointment.
You have already conducted high-level research within the field of ecological and/or evolutionary genomics/genetics.
You have distinguished yourself as a promising researcher in your doctorate.

How to apply

The initial contract will be for a period of 1 year and can be extended for a total of 2 years or more depending on additional fundings. The start date is 1 December 2017 but can be slightly negotiated. The candidate will be encouraged to write a personal grant eligible for the FWO postdoctoral grant scheme, Marie‐Curie fellowships, or comparable grants.

Your remuneration will be determined according to salary scale PD1. More information is available on our website.

All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, 38 days of paid leave, bicycle commuting reimbursement, etc. A complete overview of all our fringe benefits can be found on our website (in Dutch).

Location: Ghent University, Laboratory of Protistology and Aquatic Ecology, Krijgslaan 281, S8, 9000 Gent, Belgium

INTERESTED? Applications, including c.v., motivation letter and two names for references should be sent electronically to Anja Hondekyn ( before 30 October 2017

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