PhD in Geomicrobiology

Applications are welcome for a three-year PhD position at the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management (IGN) at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH). The position is funded by a VILLUM Foundation Young Investigator Programme Grant to Assist. Prof. Nicole Posth on the topic of biogeochemical cycling associated with marine (micro)plastic debris.

The PhD research will be carried out in the Geomicrobiology lab established within the Sedimentary Systems Group (SedSys). The lab collaborates closely with research groups at Stockholm University (Sweden), University of Southern Denmark, and the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (Germany), among others.

In this project, we will define the microbial communities associated with marine plastic debris, the interaction of microbial communities at the microbe-plastic interface, and biogeochemical cycling at or near marine plastic debris. Therefore, the selected candidate will have a strong interest in aqueous biogeochemistry, marine microbiology, or geomicrobiology required to explore microbe-plastic interactions, as well as element cycling and transport associated with plastic debris in the marine environment.

As part of their work, the candidate will 1) apply molecular community analysis to characterize the microbial communities associated with plastic debris in laboratory and targeted field samples and 2) develop and use bio-imaging and biogeochemical protocols to link microbial community associations to element cycling at and near the plastic-microbe interface. The selected candidate will be integrated into a team working on various aspects of microbe-plastic interactions and will work closely with both lab members and collaborators.

Qualifications and job requirements:

The candidate must have completed her/his MSc in a relevant discipline. The candidate will preferably have some background in microbial culturing, field sampling, isotope approaches, and/or standard and cutting-edge geomicrobiological techniques. An aptitude for laboratory and fieldwork are required. Creativity, independent thinking, good communication skills, and the ability to work in a team are all important qualities.

The successful candidate will be responsible for the daily management of his/her research project in coordination with the supervisor and other members of the group. S/he may be involved in the training and co-supervision of staff members/students and the position may include performance of additional duties such as teaching and outreach.

For further information please contact Nicole Posth, email:, tel: +45 3533 4277

The position is open from 15.05.2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Terms of employment

The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 317.448 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 43.848).

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

The application package should include:

  • A letter of motivation
  • Complete curriculum vita, citing any publications
  • Documentation of diplomas (Master degree or equivalent)
  • Names and contact information of two references

The deadline for applications is Friday April 13th 2018, 23:59 GMT +1.

The position will remain open until filled.

The preferred starting date is May 2018, but the exact date can be negotiated.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. You can read about the recruitment process at

posted: 13 March 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.