PhD position: Cable bacteria and sediment biogeochemistry

In the context of the Center for Electromicrobiology a 3-year PhD position is available at the Department of Biology with earliest start on the 1st of August.

Cable bacteria are electrically-conductive, filamentous bacteria able to couple sulfide oxidation with oxygen or nitrate reduction over centimeter distances in aquatic sediments. Such “short-circuit” of the redox cascade has been shown to alter the biogeochemistry in unconventional ways with implications for the cycling of oxygen, nutrients, carbon, minerals, ions, and greenhouse gasses. This broad impact has gained cable bacteria the name of ecosystem engineers and yet it remains largely unpredictable when they come into play in natural benthic systems.

The PhD project will contribute to address the questions:
• What are the geochemical, physical, and biotic preconditions for cable bacteria to come into play in natural benthic systems?
• What resources and mechanisms control the development and decline of cable bacteria activity, and hence their impact on biogeochemical cycles and greenhouse gas budgets?

Work will include: sediment and porewater sampling, nutrient analysis, sediment microsensor profiling, and application of standard geochemical and isotopic techniques. Measurements will be conducted both in laboratory incubation and in situ. The project will entail collaborations with internationals partners.

Potential candidates are welcome to reach out prior to application to get further information on the project.

Please upload a project description (½-4 pages). This document should describe your ideas and research plans for this specific project. If you wish to, you can indicate an URL where further information can be found.

Qualifications and specific competences:
The ideal candidate for this position has a strong background in biogeochemistry, environmental science, and an interest in microbial ecology. Besides a solid scientific background, the following qualifications / characteristics are considered important:
– Motivation and ability to structure your own workflow
– Good communication skills, and will to work in a team
– Fluent written and spoken communication in English

Institution contact information

Aarhus University, Department of Biology, Center for Electromicrobiology, Ny Munkegade 116, 8000-C Aarhus, Denmark

Assistant Professor Ugo Marzocchi,,
Professor Andreas Schramm,, or
Professor Lars Peter Nielsen,

Contact email address



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