Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ)

PhD-student Polar Viral Diversity & Dynamics

The department of Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry (MMB; department chair prof. dr. J.S. Sinninghe Damsté), is looking for a committed PhD-student to help us elucidate the diversity and activity of polar marine viruses and their hosts within the project “Polar marine viral diversity and dynamics (POMVIDDY project).”

VACANCY ID: 2017-051


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.


Do you have a thorough scientific interest in marine viral ecology, polar microbiology and genomics? Do you hold an MSc-degree (or equivalent) and have excellent cognitive skills? In that case, we would very much like to meet you.

The successful candidate preferably has experience with fieldwork, flow cytometry, polar biology, microbial growth and loss rate measurements. Comprehensive knowledge of molecular techniques (high-throughput DNA or RNA sequencing, bioinformatics) is highly appreciated.

You will be performing Antarctic fieldwork from the British Antarctic research station Rothera. The interdisciplinary nature of the research and the type of fieldwork to be done within the POMVIDDY project requires you to be a practical and flexible team player. Good writing and oral communication skills in English are expected.


We offer you a fulltime position for 4 years, a pension scheme, a yearly 8% vacation allowance, year-end bonus and flexible employment conditions. Our labour policies are based on the 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.