WP 1.2 - Postdoc

The Influence of Invasive Species on Host-Associated Microbiomes 

Duration of contract: 3 years 
Planned starting date: ASAP 
Place of work: University of Vienna

Main supervisor: Jillian Petersen (CV | Lab Homepage)  
Supervision team: Angela Sessitsch, Matthias Horn


Project description:

The main goal will be to test the role the microbiome in invasion success in the invasive saltmarsh plant Sporobolus alterniflorus. S. alteriflorus is a keystone species in native saltmarshes e.g., along the US East Coast. In other parts of the world, it is a major pest causing ecological disaster and requiring massive and costly efforts to remove.

The Postdoc will perform the following tasks: 
1) Literature review to refine research questions on invasive species’ microbiomes and to understand the Sporobolus-microbiome system 
2) Sample collection worldwide with collaboration partners 
3) Multi-omics exploration of phylogenetic and functional diversity of Sporobolus root-associated microbes in native and invasive settings (e.g., full-length 16S rRNA sequencing, metagenomics, metatranscriptomics) 
4) Development and execution of experimental assays in controlled greenhouse settings to assess development of Sporobolus microbiomes in native and non- native soils, coupled with growth/fitness assays to assess microbiomes and their effect on plant health.



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