PhD student: Uptake, accumulation, and metabolic
fate of thioarsenates in rice

The Environmental Geochemistry group at Bayreuth University, Germany, is looking for a highly motivated PhD student to work in a project on Uptake, accumulation, and metabolic fate of thioarsenates in rice

Consumption of rice is a major route for human exposure to chronically toxic arsenic. Our group has years of experience in arsenic and sulfur speciation analyses (see publications on our website) and recently discovered occurrence of a new group of arsenic-sulfur species (so-called thioarsenates) in rice paddies. Thioarsenates escape routine sampling and analysis methods even though they seem to represent a substantial fraction of total arsenic under various field conditions. The project aims at filling the current knowledge gap in mechanistic understanding of thioarsenate effects on rice by dissecting thioarsenate uptake pathways, their metabolic conversion through reduction and complex formation within rice plant cells, their mobility between rice plant tissues and finally their overall contribution to the arsenic load in rice.

The project is a joint initiative between Environmental Geochemistry and Plant Physiology and the research team will consist of two closely collaborating PhD students co-supervised by the team leaders of each group. Both PhD students will profit from excellent laboratory facilities in both groups. We provide a creative and supportive environment to work on this challenging and environmentally highly relevant topic as well as the opportunity of a laboratory exchange stay or field work abroad.

Our ideal candidate should have a strong background in Environmental Chemistry and Analytics, ideally with previous experience in mass spectrometry, and an interest in method development. Applicants must have the ability to work independently and in a team, have excellent management, communication and language (English) skills, and be highly motivated to pursue interdisciplinary research.

Start date should ideally be January 2019. Employment (TVL E13, 65%, 3 years) will be arranged by Bayreuth University. Candidates with disabilities will be preferred in case of equal qualification.

More information, including recent publications can be found on our website: For more project-specific information and to apply, please send a CV, motivation letter, and overview of techniques and methods used in the past by email to Prof. Dr. Britta Planer-Friedrich (

posted: 22 October 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.