Friday, March 4, 2016

From the inbox: PhD position at German Barcode of Life (GBOL)

The Center for Molecular Biodiversity Research at the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig in Bonn (ZFMK, Germany) invites applications for a PhD studentship. The studentship will be part of a project within the German Barcode of Life (GBOL).
Starting date: not later than 1st May 2016, preferentially earlier. 
Duration: until 31st December 2018
Salary: German salary scale (TV-L E13, 55 %).

We seek an enthusiastic and highly motivated candidate to work on a project on metabarcoding and biodiversity at ZFMK in Bonn. The main objective of the studentship is to create a biodiversity map of invertebrate communities using environmental DNA samples derived from the Eifel National Park and to monitor species/ ecosystems over time. This will be a timely project since there is no comprehensive biodiversity study German National Parks, such as the Eifel NP, using HTP (high-throughput) sequencing approaches. This will move towards establishing an efficient biodiversity-monitoring approach providing critical insights into biodiversity assessment on a temporal scale.The project will involve handling environmental samples (Malaise insect traps and soil samples) in the lab and in the field, as well as using next generation metagenetics/ metabarcoding approaches to tracking mainly meio- and macrofauna communities. There will be opportunity to develop a preliminary pipeline as a tool for biomonitoring and best-practice guidelines for environmental barcoding (sampling protocols, preservation and downstream data analysis). The student will join a multi-disciplinary supervisory team led by Dr Vera Fonseca (biodiversity and metabarcoding) and Dr Jonas Astrin (Biobank and DNA barcoding), together with an external collaborator, Dr Christopher Quince from Warwick University (food web, meta-analysis), offering the student to gain knowledge and training in Bioinformatics, Ecology, Genomics, Conservation and Biodiversity.

The PhD candidate should be highly motivated, with good computer command line skills and with a strong enthusiasm for environmental molecular biodiversity. The candidate will have to spend some time in the Eifel NP (driving license not necessary, but helpful). Desirable skills are molecular biology (e.g., DNA/RNA extraction, PCR) and bioinformatic environmental meta-analyses experience (HTP). Students are expected to acquire and develop new skills but candidates with prior expertise in HTP meta-analysis will be given preference. The candidate should have a 
Master s degree, or be close to completing a Master s degree in Biology or related discipline. Fluent spoken and written English is essential. The Center for Molecular Biodiversity Research at the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig offers a pleasant and stimulating research environment with a modern molecular laboratory and a state-of-the-art high-performance computing cluster. Current research projects in the department deal with DNA barcoding and metabarcoding 
terrestrial biodiversity (German Barcode of Life, GBOL) and Environmental barcoding of aquatic invertebrates (EBAI, Norway University Museum), as well as other exciting research lines such as the phylogeny of insects (e.g., and other groups of organisms and the organization and evolution of insect genomes (e.g., i5K).

Applications should include:
(1) Letter of motivation (relevant skills, experience and research interests)
(2) Curriculum vitae
(3) Official BSc and/ or MSc certificates
(4) Contact details of two (ideally academic) references

Closing date for Applications: 1st April 2016. Applications should be submitted in English and electronically as a single PDF to Dr Vera Fonseca,  with MetaEIFEL application in the subject line. Any enquiries, please also contact

The ZFMK values equality of opportunity, human dignity, and racial/ethnic and cultural diversity. According to German law, applications by women and by persons with a disability will be given priority in case of superior or equal qualifications. Women are especially encouraged to apply. The position is remunerated according to TV-L E13 (55 %).

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