News aus der Fakultät

11.04.2017 17:28

2 PhD Projects in Microbial Molecular Ecology/ Geomicrobiology

Faculty of Science, Department of Geosciences

The Microbial Molecular Ecology/ Geomicrobiology Group at the University of Tübingen is looking for 2 PhD students who will work on:

“Microbial key players, metabolic pathways, and rates of pollutant turnover in a groundwater aquifer”

Pollution of groundwater by anthropogenic organic and inorganic compounds is a growing global concern. Crucial knowledge gaps exist concerning the impacts of microbial pollutant turnover on the fate of these pollutants, posing a hazard for the environment and human health. Within the “Collaborative Research Centre (CRC 1253) “CAMPOS - Catchments as Reactors: Metabolism of Pollutants on the Catchment Scale”, supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, a multidisciplinary approach will be used i) to determine the locations of pollutant turnover in fractured rock aquifers, ii) to identify microbial key players and metabolic pathways mediating these processes, iii) to quantify rates of pollutant turnover, and iv) to examine factors that limit microbial activities.


PhD position P5/1“Molecular ecology - in situ microbial community composition and metabolic capabilities in fractured aquifers”

focuses on in situ analysis of microbial pollutant (e.g. nitrate, atrazine) turnover in a groundwater aquifer by applying cutting-edge molecular tools (DNA- and RNA-based 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, DNA- and RNA-based qPCR analyses, and metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics) to identify microbial key players of pollutant turnover and to unravel their metabolic capabilities in the aquifer.


PhD position P5/2“Geomicrobiology - Pollutant turnover in microcosms”

employs laboratory microcosm experiments (incl. stable-isotope probing experiments) using aquifer limestone material to quantify pollutant turnover and microbial metabolic rates, to examine the factors limiting pollutant turnover, to identify the involved microorganisms, and to determine sorption as well as diffusion of pollutants (including atrazine degradation and nitrate reduction coupled to pyrite oxidation).


We are offering 2 PhD positions in an interdisciplinary, international, and dynamic team of molecular ecologists, microbiologists, geochemists and geoscientists. These positions provide an opportunity for the candidates to be creative and innovative, and to work on a challenging, multidisciplinary topic. Ideal candidates should have a solid background in molecular ecology, environmental microbiology or geomicrobiology. Applicants must have the ability to work independent and in a team, have excellent management and communication skills and should be highly motivated and committed to pursuing interdisciplinary research. Very good computer and language skills (English) are necessary. The candidates will have the opportunity to present his/her results in international journals and at conferences.


The starting date is June 1st 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter. The employment (TVL E13, 75%, 3 years) will be arranged by the administration of the University of Tübingen. In the case of equivalent qualified and experienced candidates, physically challenged applicants are given preference.


Applications should include a letter of motivation, a CV, overview of techniques and methods used in the past, transcripts or degree certificates including grades, proof of special qualifications, prints of publications if applicable, and a list of at least two referees and should be send by email before May 7th 2017 to:


PhD position P5/1 (Microb. Molecular Ecol.): Dr. Sara Kleindienst, Email: sara.kleindienst[at]

PhD position P5/2 (Geomicrobiology): Prof. Dr. Andreas Kappler, Email: andreas.kappler[at]


More information can be found on the websites: