WP 7.3 PhD

The effect of seasonal oxygen fluctuations on aquatic microbiomes

Duration of contract: 4 years 
Planned starting date: Summer 2024 
Place of work: University of Vienna

Main supervisor: Barbara Bayer (CV | Lab homepage)

Supervision team: Christina Kaiser, David Berry


Project description:

Extensive human activities (e.g., agriculture, industrial production, and sewage discharge) have led to increased eutrophication of lakes and marine coastal zones. As a result, aquatic ecosystems are more frequently affected by hypoxia or anoxia, and coastal bottom waters often display strong seasonal fluctuations in oxygen concentrations. Oxygen availability can have a major impact on microbial metabolism and thus likely affects microbial community composition and microbiome functioning. The PhD candidate will investigate changes in microbiome functioning in response to oxygen depletion by combining metagenomic and -transcriptomic sequencing with activity measurements using stable- and radioisotope approaches. Our goal is to further understand if microbial communities are better adapted to oxygen depletion if they have previously experienced anoxic events.

Project-related tasks include: 

  • Microbial activity measurements and community profiling in coastal marine ecosystems
  • Metagenomics and -transcriptomics of in situ microbial communities 
  • Data analyses and preparation of scientific publications 
  • Presenting work output in department seminars and at conferences 
  • Co-supervision of trainees and students 

The successful candidate will benefit from a collaborative and international research network. The ideal candidate has experience with/or a strong interest in applying isotope techniques and bioinformatics methods. Willingness to plan and conduct fieldwork in coastal ocean environments is required.



Projects and work packages

How to apply