Postdoc in Microbial Ecology/Discovery

Thursday 16 Dec 21

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Apply no later than 31 January 2022
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Are you interested in microbial ecology, physiology, and bio-discovery? Are you intrigued by social interactions and collaboration in microbial communities? Here is an opportunity for you! At DTU Department of Environmental Engineering we offer a 2-year postdoctoral researcher position with a focus on developing a new platform to identify, isolate, and cultivate high-value microbes.

The position is based at DTU Environment, and is in close collaboration with colleagues (and another project supported postdoc) at DTU Health Tech (Section for NanoBioLight Systems, Prof.  Anders Kristensen) with expertise in optofluidics, Raman-spectroscopy, and microfluidics, and microfabrication.

This highly interdisciplinary project is funded through the Exploratory Interdisciplinary Synergy program of the Novo Nordisk Foundation (Novo Nordisk Fonden).

The overarching aim of the project is to establish the proof of principle for a new high-throughput platform that allows to identify targeted microbes and their collaboromes (co-occurring microbes supporting the targeted one)  from microbial communities and to isolate and bring those collaboromes in cultivation. The project will combine insights from optofluidics, microfluidics, Raman spectroscopy, microbial physiology, and systems biology. One of the main targets of the isolation effort will be the comammox Nitrospira, important – but poorly known- players in the Nitrogen cycle.

Responsibilities and qualifications
Your focus will be to contribute to development and optimization of the new platform and to use it to isolate and describe novel microbes and their interactions.

Your primary tasks will be to:

  • Design and implement cultivation and detection assays for pure and mixed cultures using microscopy, flow-cytometry, or isotopic detection
  • Interface with physicists to assist in design and verification of performance of the elements of the platform
  • Perform an analyze strain and community-based omic to infer/verify physiologies, compositions and interactions
  • Report and disseminate your findings

The following further qualifications will be considered in the assessment:

  • Strong background and interest in the following areas: environmental microbiology, microbial physiology, molecular ecology and evolution – with evidence of wet-laboratory experience.
  • Expertise in bioinformatics and data analysis.
  • Excellent English communication skills, both in writing and in oral presentations
  • Creativity, open-mindedness, ability to work in a multidisciplinary and multinational environment.

As a formal qualification, you must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent).

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and terms of employment
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union.

The period of employment is 24 months, with a suggested starting date of March 01, 2022 (or based on mutual agreement).

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Prof. Barth F. Smets,

You can read more about DTU Environment at at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 31 January 2022 (Danish time).

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Academic Diplomas (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Environment is one of the largest university departments specialising in water, environmental engineering and sustainability in Europe. We are working to develop new environmentally friendly and sustainable technologies and disseminate this knowledge to society and new generations of engineers. Our activities within research, education and innovation are focused water, chemicals and resources. The department has app. 185 staff members of more than 25 nationalities.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.