2-3 year Postdoc position offered at the Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (MIO)

Project title: FIESTA: FInE scale dynamicS of diazoTrophs in the oceAn

Project description

The ocean is constantly stirred by currents that swirl and mix seawater creating fronts, filaments and eddies. These dynamic structures are known as 'fine scales', featuring spatiotemporal scales of 1-100 km and days-weeks. Fine scales alter biogeochemical gradients affecting phytoplankton productivity and carbon export, but their role in nitrogen cycling is unknown. The greatest source of bioavailable nitrogen in the ocean is nitrogen fixation performed by microbes called 'diazotrophs'. Understanding the role of fine scales on diazotrophs requires dynamic sampling approaches at high-resolution, which is not possible with current discrete sampling methods. The project FIESTA will implement parallel measurements of nitrogen fixation and diazotrophs at a resolution >50 times higher than that possible today. Oceanographic cruises are planned in the North Atlantic and South Pacific Oceans. The overarching objective of FIESTA is to unveil the effect of fine-scales on diazotrophy and their ultimate impact on nitrogen inputs to the ocean.

Work environment

MIO is a multidisciplinary oceanographic research institution based in Marseille, France. MIO provides first-class analytical facilities including analytical chemistry, microscopy, flow cytometry and molecular biology, and an international working environment. MIO is based at the Luminy Campus, close the "Les Calanques" natural park, which hosts a wide variety of research institutions and University schools.

About our group

We are a multidisciplinary and dynamic group (www.oceanbridges.net) focused on understanding the interactions between diazotrophs and their environment across spatiotemporal scales We combine stable isotope, molecular biology, physical oceanography and biogeochemistry methods to unveil how diazotrophs shape nitrogen cycling in the ocean.


The postdoc position is available for 2 years and renewable for up to 3 years, starting in March 2022. Salaries are dictated by Aix-Marseille University and commensurate with previous postdoc experience.


The candidate should hold a PhD in Marine Science, Oceanography or Environmental Microbiology. She/he should be willing to engage in experimental work (in the lab and at sea), and to spend prolonged stays abroad. Previous expertise in microbial ecology methods including immunofluorescence, PCR, microscopy, gas chromatography and/or isotope labelling are desirable. Data analysis and multivariate statistics skills are necessary (R, Matlab). Candidates from any nationality and gender are welcome to apply.


Candidates can send their applications between 3 and 31 January 2022 (letter of motivation, CV and 2 reference letters) to: Mar Benavides mar.benavides@ird.fr

published: 04 January 2022     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.