Postdoctoral fellow to work on the evolution of competitive ability in phytoplankton

LocationDübendorf, Zurich region, Switzerland

Your Mission

Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, is an internationally networked aquatic research institute within the ETH Domain (Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology). Eawag conducts research, education and expert consulting to achieve the dual goals of meeting direct human needs for water and maintaining the function and integrity of aquatic ecosystems.

Postdoctoral fellow to work on the evolution of competitive ability in phytoplankton

This postdoctoral position is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

Competition has been acknowledged as one of the major forces structuring ecological communities, and in particular, communities of freshwater phytoplankton. Studies of competition in phytoplankton show that competitive traits of various species measured in isolation can be used to predict outcomes of competition. However, little is known about how these traits evolve in response to changes in the biotic and abiotic environment. This project will investigate the evolution of competitive traits of freshwater phytoplankton using both lab-based and in-lake competition experiments. We will investigate to what degree the evolution of competitive traits alters the outcome of competition both in terms community structure and in terms of species’ relative contributions to ecosystem functioning.

This project approaches questions of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning by considering the possibility of eco-evolutionary dynamics of competition and coexistence among phytoplankton. The successful candidate has ideally completed a PhD in related topics of community or evolutionary ecology.

We are looking for a qualified scientist holding a PhD, with up to 2 years of work experience post-PhD. The applicant should have: (i) a background in competition and coexistence theory, ii) quantitative data analysis skills including familiarity with statistical and modelling techniques using R, Python or similar platforms, iii) experience with modern molecular methods including DNA/RNA extraction, qPCR and library preparation for next generation sequencing, and iv) some basic bioinformatics experience. Knowledge of standard methods in aquatic ecology and algal culturing is an asset. Excellent written and spoken English with a track record of publishing in international journals is required.

The period of appointment is 2 years, with a preferred start date of January 2019 (negotiable).

Additional information

Eawag offers a unique research and working environment and is committed to promoting equal opportunities for women and men and to support the compatibility of family and work. Applications from women are especially welcome. For more information about Eawag and our work conditions please consult ?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> and ?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> .

The closing date for applications is December 12, 2018.

We look forward to receiving your application. Please submit your application (including CV, motivation letter, and copies of academic qualifications, and the names and contact information for three references) via the Eawag Jobs & Career webpage, any other way of applying will not be considered. The button below will take you directly to the application form.

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