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Postdoctoral fellowship (2 years) in Microbial Ecology

Postdoctoral fellowship (2 years) in Microbial Ecology

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The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science (Umeå University, Sweden) invites applicants for a 2-year post doc fellowship focused on the importance of food web interactions for bacterial adaptation to changing food availability and quality. The fellowship begins in September 2019 or according to agreement.

Project description

Heterotrophic bacteria are major transformers of dissolved organic matter on Earth. Coastal bacteria feed on high quality dissolved organic matter (DOM) produced in the ecosystem, but also on old refractory terrestrial DOM which enters the sea via river discharge. Climate change will in the future cause increased precipitation in northern Europe, leading to higher inflow of colored low quality terrestrial DOM to the sea and an increased light attenuation that will cause decreased phytoplankton primary production, indicating that high quality DOM will decrease.

The post doc will study how bacteria will cope with such a change. We hypothesize that the bacteria will adapt functionally and genetically to the changed food resource, and that the adaption is predation-mediated. Protozoa are major predators on bacteria, and by reducing cell density, they will promote faster growth rates of the bacteria. High growth rates are supposed to be a key factor for evolutionary change. The hypothesis will be tested in a chemostat-selection-experiment, where isolated coastal bacteria will be grown on high quality DOM and low quality terrestrial DOM, respectively. Ciliates will be used as predator. Functional and genetic changes of the bacteria will be studied to elucidate the bacterial ability to adapt to changing food resources in a climate change perspective.

The 2-year post doc scholarship (276 000 Kr per year) is financed by Carl Tryggers Stiftelse. The project will be performed within the frame of the marine strategic research environment EcoChange - Ecosystem dynamics in the Baltic Sea in a climate change perspective.


We are looking for a motivated candidate with a PhD degree in ecology, microbiology, molecular ecology or any other relevant area. To be eligible for this fellowship, you should have completed your doctoral degree a maximum three (3) years before the end of the application period. The candidate should have experience of laboratory and experimental studies as well as knowledge in bioinformatics. The successful candidate must be creative and able to take own initiatives as well as have collaborative ability. Good skills in written and spoken English are demanded.


The application should include:

  • A personal letter (maximum 2 pages) where the applicant describes her/himself in relation to the above described requirements, a motivation to why the applicant is interested in the position and a short description of the candidate´s research interests.

  • CV with academic qualifications and publication list.

  • Electronic copy of the PhD-thesis and relevant publications (maximum 5).

  • Copy of doctoral degree certificate and other relevant degree certificates.

  • Contact information to three reference persons.

  • Other relevant documents wished to be claimed.

Your complete application, written in Swedish or English, marked with reference number Dnr: FS 2.1.6-1465-19, should be sent in a PDF-document to (state the reference number as subject) on 17 September, 2019 at the latest.


More information can be given by Professor Agneta Andersson, Department of Ecology and Environmental Science. Tel: +46 90-786 9845, e-mail

The Department of Ecology and Environment Science (EMG) performs research and postgraduate education in ecology, environmental science and physical geography. The department have ~150 co-workers of which ~15 are post docs. For more information see