Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ)

Postdoc Viral Molecular Biology (POMVIDDY project)

The department of Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry (MMB; department chair prof. dr. J.S. Sinninghe Damsté), is looking for a postdoc with a solid scientific background in (meta)genomics to help us unravel the diversity and activity of polar marine viruses and their hosts within the project “Polar marine viral diversity and dynamics (POMVIDDY project).”

VACANCY ID: 2017-053


The research of the department Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry (MMB) is focused on the diversity, activity, and ecophysiology of marine microbes (algae, bacteria, archaea, and viruses), their interactions, and their consequences for biogeochemical cycling in a variety of marine environments, varying from tidal flats and coral reefs to the Antarctic Ocean.

The department is equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories and analytical equipment, and has an excellent level of technical support. Microbial ecologists in MMB rely on modern omics techniques, including environmental genomics. In generating vast amounts of biological data, we collaborate with the Utrecht Bioinformatics Center (UBC) of Utrecht University.


The polar regions are rapidly undergoing major climate change-related physicochemical transformations with consequences for the marine ecosystems. Subsequent alterations at the base of the food web (phytoplankton and bacteria) will affect nutrient and energy fluxes, and therewith ecosystem functioning. In turn, these microorganisms are selectively infected by viruses, the smallest but most abundant life forms in the polar oceans.

Viruses are an active and integral part of the polar ecology, but they remain largely uncharacterized. The POMVIDDY project consists of two highly complementary subprojects, exploring virus and host communities in the coastal waters of the western Antarctic Peninsula (PhD-student) and in the Arctic Cambridge Bay (Postdoc). Our cutting-edge scientific approach allows for analysis of seasonal changes in viral phylotypes in relation to their specific hosts. The results will be vital to chart and compare how the polar marine microbiomes are shaped by viral infection and influenced by climate change.


We are looking for an excellent Postdoc with a keen scientific interest in marine polar viruses and a strong and demonstrated scientific background in (meta)genomics.

The Postdoc we would like to meet preferably has additional experience with fieldwork, flow cytometry, microbial viral lysis rate measurements.

You will execute fieldwork in the Arctic Ocean from the Canadian High Arctic Research Station CHARS. The interdisciplinary nature of the science and fieldwork to be done within the POMVIDDY project will require you to be a practical and flexible team player. Good writing and oral communication skills in English are required.

Part of the Postdoc position will include support and guidance to the PhD-student within the POMVIDDY project.


We offer you a fulltime position for 3 years, a pension scheme, a yearly 8% vacation allowance, year-end bonus and flexible employment conditions. Our labour policies are based on the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement of Research Institutes (WVOI). The cost of relocation and help with housing is provided by the Royal NIOZ.

Interviews will be held on the 28th, 29th or 30th of August. The expected starting date of the project is at the end of 2017 or at the start of 2018.


For additional information about this vacancy, please contact prof. dr. Corina Brussaard.

An assessment is part of the procedure.

For additional information about the procedure, please contact Jolanda Evers (senior HR advisor).

posted: 21 June 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.